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Culture Shock

  • Sheldon Skeete
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


Prior to joining the RAF I'd lived in the UK for six years

but most of the time I would spend

or hang out in my own circles, so Caribbean people,

go to social gatherings and so forth.

And when I finally joined the RAF,

within probably the first two months

of being in the RAF, I probably learnt more

about British culture and British people

than I'd learnt in the six years living here

prior to joining up.

So like for instance one of the guys

in the bed space next to me during recruitment training,

he was like, I asked him a question,

and his response was "Aye, man."

And at the time when he said it

I was like, I don't know what that meant,

so I ask him the question again,

and his response was no different,

so then my second question,

my third question, sorry, was "Does that mean yes?"

And then he said "Aye, man."

So then I was like, right, because again,

and then I found it was like a Scottish or Geordie thing

and being in Birmingham, living in Birmingham

when I emigrated, they don't use

those kinds of phrases or terminologies,

so the interesting thing or beautiful thing

about the Air Force as well, what I discovered was,

you're meeting people from all parts of the UK

and Commonwealth, so it's quite interesting

because you're learning about different people's background,

and where they come from, their cultures,

so yeah it was nice to learn about those kinds of things.

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