Interesting Conversations with South Africans

Here are some bits of conversations that I or another PCV has had with a South African. These conversations are pretty universally met with a surprised “Shooo” or “AOH!” and most of us SA24 PCVs have had this discussions. We call it culture sharing…

“Yes, parents will make their grown up children pay rent. They do not get to live at home until the parents die.”

“Children in America don’t wear uniforms to school.”

“Not everyone in America is rich. Really.”

“I am 22, not 14. Yes, I have graduated university.”

“No, I really am not getting paid for this.”

“Actually, it’s illegal to beat school children in South Africa too.”

“No, we do not have pap in America. Yes, I like it.”

“Americans like to exercise.”

“Yes, 18 hours in an airplane to get here. 18 hours of flying. Indeed, America is far away.”

“No, I do not know Rihannah. Or Chris Brown. Or Beyonce.”

“In America, dogs stay inside the house. And usually, they sleep in someone’s bed!”

“Last winter, it snowed up to my knees.”

“Yes, we have cows in America. But not in towns, that’s illegal. And they stay in fences.”

“No, in America the man doesn’t pay for his wife. Yes, he gets her for free.”

I think the one that gets the biggest surprised response is that in America, men do not pay for the bride.

I know I made some generalizations about America, but sometimes that is what you must do when language is a barrier. And then they think you are less weird if you tell them Americans like to walk, so the hour long walk to school isn’t that bad. 🙂

-Jen

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About Jen Lamos

Christ follower. Writer. Permaculturist. RPCV. Photographer. Gardener. Keeper of Chickens. Daughter of God.

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