Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Pleasant Change

I have been wondering what the kids think of being back in the States, and last night our ever-thoughtful Ethan told me. His main observation is that people in America are friendlier. He said, "In America, people say hello to you, and if they bump into you, they say 'Excuse me' but in China people just ignore you. Why is that?"

I talked about how there are SO many people in China that if you tried to say hello to everyone you pass or tried to say excuse me to everyone you bump you'd be saying one or the other all the time. And in true Ethan fashion he replied with, "But WHY don't people say it?"

I confess I have noticed this as well, and it's a pleasant change. I've been walking/running about 6 miles every other morning. During the course of that time, I only see about 10-20 people total, but every one of them says something to me (and none of them bump into me, but I'm sure they would say "excuse me" if they did). This morning I even had someone wave to me from across the street as she ran by. That's true Minnesota for you.

One of many cultural differences we're encountering here in the US.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I noticed the same thing when I was in Japan--it took me a long time to stop smiling at people I passed on the street (they just looked at me funny every time I did), and it was a little sad to try not to smile.