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Friends and Friendliness

Friends in Austria like to ask about friendliness in the USA. They say: "When your neighbor wishes you a good day - she doesn't mean it, right? It's all superficial." I am not sure about the answer, but does friendliness, whatever the motives, not make for a more pleasant life? I'd rather have my neighbor wish me a good day and not mean it than have her bark at me and mean it.


Reese said…
I agree... even a hurried greeting from a neighbor is thousand times better than a complete blind eye
Caroline said…
I have been thinking so much about this since my recent trip to Vienna.

I was raised in the US and have lived in California for more than 15 years and the friendliness of which you speak is so prevalent here. In fact, I was suspicious of the California friendliness when I first moved here from New England. It must be fake! Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. But I have grown to appreciate and, dare I say, almost even expect a quick friendly greeting when passing a neighbor.

The environment in Vienna had a strong affect on me on my recent visit - it was palpable. I do understand the difference between the US and European "friendliness" and I am choosing to remove myself from my US-centric thinking and behavior, but I'm not sure it's going to be all that easy to get used to!
Thanks for your comment, American Girl. The important thing for me is to stay independent, not to take people's ways personally. Whatever people say, whatever they do, whether they stick out their tongue or smile - it is not about me, has nothing to do with me. An ideal, I know, but I try...

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