Monday, September 25, 2006

Be Nice, Say Hi, and Smile

Life: I took the bus in today from my sunny little neighborhood in what I always thought of as "relatively polite" Seattle. My bus driver was this very happy jovial fellow, who always gave a hearty "Hello, how are you today?" welcome to each bus passenger. I decided to take statistics of how often people responded. Around Nickerson and 15th (about a mile since I started my count), only 2 people had responded pleasantly. Many people said absolutely nothing, some grunted something unitelligable, a few had a focused floor-stairing look with bulging headphones, and a mere 2 out of 14 responded pleasantly and politely with something akin to a "I'm doing fine. Thank you." I was totally shocked. That's a pathetically low number. Fortunately the next 4 people in a row were nice, to eventually leave the stat at a pathetic, but not horrific, 6 out of 19. What's wrong with people? Someone looks you in the eye, performs a service for you, says an unequivocally nice thing to you - smile back and say hello.

2 comments:

Skyneedle said...

My wife and I have a new hobby in Norway. We freak out little kids by waving "hi" to them and smiling. They are stunned and have no idea what to do but after panicing for a few seconds, they usually smile and hide their face.

Maybe it is the Scandinavian heritage of your hood in Seattle that causes people to be withdrawn.

metalhead said...

Who needs personal human interaction when television perfectly fulfills those needs for us?

Besides, its awkwards talking to ppl you don't know. Isn't it time you bought a nice large lux-SUV? One w a tv built-in?

Then it would be "chalo dhekho"

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