2016 Fall Arcadia University External Programs Madeline Clapier South Africa

Americans run to Dunkin’

IMG_2219.JPGPart of me is too proud to admit to how long I waited in line. However, I mostly want to scream with glee that I spent more than four hours in line at a Dunkin’ Donuts.

It wasn’t just any Dunkin’ Donuts, but SOUTH AFRICA’S FIRST.

And let me tell you, it was an event.

Social media effectively drew my attention toward the day. For weeks, the Dunkin’ Instagram promoted the new coffee and donut-based fast food.

Dunkin’ supplied a bouncy house, trampoline, face paint, and balloon animals. Live music demanded the neighborhood’s attention. A cheer team hyped the gathering crowd. A photographer captured the entire day.

After this day, I am most likely plastered all over the Dunkin’ Donuts website, Facebook, and advertising department. A Dunkin’ representative quoted me, recorded my cheering, asked me to pose for multiple pictures and, of course, I said yes.

After this day, I might just be the next face of Dunkin’.

My thrill could have energized all of Cape Town. My excitement originated from my homesickness for the famously wonderful (and cheap) coffee and donuts. This coffee took me back to early morning walks to class. I held the iced coffee, closed my eyes, and remembered North Philadelphia.

The truth is that I’ve waited in long lines for Dunkin’ many times before. All of Philadelphia knows to migrate to the nearest Dunkin’ if the Eagles happen to win. Never to this extent, but crowded Dunkin’ Donuts are a staple of my version of American life.


My goal for the Dunkin’ Donuts opening wasn’t to eat six donuts, or drink a mediocre coffee; it was to leave with a South Africa specific T-Shirt. I’m proud (and a little grossed out) to report back that all three were accomplished. I also found a place to buy hash browns and bagels with cream cheese. The whole event proved to be a spectacular and exciting experience.

I listened to the radio, later that same day. A South African reported on the opening of the country’s first Dunkin’ Donuts. He mentioned the embarrassing fact that people waited in a line for hours to get the iconic American donuts.

American capitalism, once again, invaded the soul of South African society. So this specific reporter was less than thrilled.

South Africa may not need Dunkin’ Donuts. In reality, I don’t need the sugar or very large portion sizes. I frequent many other coffee places, which are much closer to my new home. I found places where I can drink coffee and either study, watch movies, talk, read, or even play board games. I love to get Billy Boos before going to the beach. I sit in Mimi’s to get homework done. I laugh in Truth Coffee with my friends. I happened upon the Big Box Cafe while wandering in town.

However if I am homesick, I will take the long trek to South Africa’s first Dunkin’ Donuts. And with an iced coffee in one hand and a donut in the other, I will remember my time in city of Philadelphia.

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