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February 24, 2021 at 8:36:28 PM

By Claxton Fallen
One of the first culture bumps I received was shortly after getting on the flight out of Dulles. I was used to receiving a safety and emergency procedures brief from a senior flight attendant. The South African Airlines brief started much the same way, then it was repeated in a language that I did not understand but believe to be Afrikans. Then it was repeated a third time in something that sounded like French. I am not positive but I thought it was repeated at least once more in yet another language I did not understand. Initially I was neither bothered nor happy about it. But after the fourth of fifth iteration this Culturebump quickly began to wear on me. Being someone with a soft voice it made having a conversation nearly impossible. In addition if watching a movie there would be an extended break in the movie instead of the short interruptions I previously experienced on either domestic or international flights. While on this trip I have contemplated what I would do if I were “King” of South Africa and have decided I would definitely push to eliminate 10 of the languages. I am all for tradition but I barely speak English and cannot possibly manage one let alone 10 additional languages. Immediately after my return to the U.S. I plan to seek DNA testing to ensure that I am in fact not related to the South African Royal Family. More to follow… (March 6, 2012)

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