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RT: Inappropriate? How Much Can We Put Down To Cultural Differences?
After a week in Corsica it was time to return home for RT. The only direct return flight to Gatwick was that by easyjet with many passengers and therefore a long delay.
I'm good with planes, not afraid of flying; don't get motion sickness, fine with talking to new people... standard flyer. This flight for RT however was slightly different. It's usual on flights especially when you don't have assigned seats to have a chat with whoever you're sitting next to and I happened to be sitting by a gorgeous Frenchman who asked me within seconds of sitting down (in French) where I was from etc. RT can speak some French, enough to hold a conversation but that was rather it and the language barrier did stop us having a conversation above the intelligence level of six year olds.
Whilst in the queue to get on the plane, a much older Italian-looking man started talking to RT about the holiday and generalities of life. Nothing out of the ordinary really but it was when RT sat down a row in front of this man and he asked the man sitting next to him to swap so that we were by each other, that it became slightly unnerving.
This particular gentleman whipped out his huge Galaxy tab from his Louis Vuitton hand luggage case and started making a call as we were talking off. The air hostess nearly had a fit as it was evident that this man didn't think the easyjet rules applied to him.
He did however put the phone down before we'd left the ground and then proceeded to pass me a note asking for my mobile number. This was the point where RT started feeling really weird about the whole situation. Of course I said no but I was left with an hour and a half with this man sitting behind me.
He did come forward and try to chat at points during the flight but after making the replies as boring and monosyllabic as possible he seemed to get the message.
Now, this gentleman was half Italian, half Russian and had never been to England before. He was obviously not socially educated as to what is acceptable here and seemed like he meant well but just didn't understand that sometimes, it's just unacceptable and inappropriate to behave like that towards a teenage girl who one has never met before.
How much can we put down to cultural differences before it crosses the line to just inappropriate behaviour? Maybe in England we have gone slightly over the top with adult-child relationships. When my parents were younger it would have been completely fine for a neighbour to fix their bike and invite them for a cup of tea. Now, that could be seen as highly inappropriate.
Maybe we have taken it over the top, but if we have, that's how we are at the moment and other people have to realise and respect that. So, how much can we really put down to cultural differences?
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