When I was in Germany, Suisse, and France last month, I noticed a remarkable propensity for people to be friendly in public. The number of "Guten Tag" and "Bon jour" greetings I got and returned were innumerable. Total strangers in parks, museums, car parks, air ports, hotel lobbies, elevators, hall ways, factories, offices, indoors, outdoors... all of them speaking a greeting, exchanging a smile or nod, and in a business setting a hand shake or "kiss" in France if they knew you well and you were of the opposite sex.
Contrast this to Pennsylvania, Michigan, South Carolina, and Georgia, where I was last week, as I tried to maintain the same congenial, affable, welcoming demeanor, and instead of reciprocated "hello" or "good day" people stared at the floor, or grunted, or pretended not to hear often times, in the same settings. Europeans are just friendlier than Americans in general I think. Or at least, that's what I've observed recently.
1 year ago