Old Friends with Everyday Strangers

I’ve noticed that people treat strangers differently over here. It’s not so much in the people you walk past on the street (although if you catch eyes with another guy, a thumbs up is always exchanged), but more with people you interact with for a few moments. I’ve seen the difference with waiters, hotel owners, taxi cab drivers, even ferry boat drivers.
The friends I am traveling with are extremely friendly, and always ready to talk, so they may be an extreme example of this, but on a milder scale I think there is a difference here in general.
It’s evident in what they say, and the tone of voice. They treat these new entrants in their lives like old friends.
One of my friend was sick yesterday, and a local nurse came to the hotel room to help out with an IV. Patricia greeted the nurse by name, and said “Oh, Joanna, can you believe this situation?” The response and following conversation was so casual and informal. It was as if the nurse was immediately part of a community, or family.
I’ve already bought some souvenirs to take home with me from my trip, but above all things, I hope I can take home this culture of familiarity.

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One Response to Old Friends with Everyday Strangers

  1. Trevin says:

    This is an interesting topic.. Brandon and I were just talking yesterday about how different it is in Seattle vs other parts of the world wrt to treating strangers. Given my new life situation, I’m finding this to be extremely problematic in Seattle 🙂

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