Why should I blog if I can just steal from other great bloggers? LOL
Another post from Katie China v America- http://katiemarshall.blogspot.com/
Point to note: Katie is from Oklahoma, I still think Americans tend to be friendly, its just New Yorkers that have issues lol
Americans are good at being everybody's friend. They want to talk to you, even if you're a complete stranger. From the waitress bringing their steak, to the cashier at the grocery store, they will always ask, "How are you?" I love this about Americans. We want to be friendly to everyone we meet. What I never realized before I left, was that it often only goes ¼ inch deep. I can talk to a stranger for 10 minutes about the movie that came out last week or the crazy weather we've been having, but I'd better not start to tell them about about the year I've had. The look on their face turns to fear if they think they'll have to emotionally invest. Keep it casual folks!
I just came from a place where you don't smile at people you don't know. You don't stand politely back and let them go ahead of you--you shove them out of the way and jam your elbows into ribs in an effort to give yourself the 30 second advantage. The difference is, when you break past those barriers and get to know someone, you go straight to the heart. Once someone becomes your friend, they are there for life--whether you like it or not. It is not a casual thing. Soon they're coming over uninvited, eating your food, asking you all kinds of personal questions you never wanted to answer, and borrowing your things. They are no longer your friends, they are your family and it's forever. I love the deepness, and the closeness those relationships contain despite the lack of personal space or privacy.
It came as a shock to me that the American way seems so foreign. I grew up in this land. I should know how it works. Yet I was annoyed and surprised as people asked, "How are you?" as they walked past without pausing to hear the answer. I am used to my friends coming over without calling, when I'm in the middle of eating dinner, plopping down on my couch, and not leaving. They spend 6 hours finding out how I am, instead of 3 seconds. They know all my quirks, from my habit of using hyperbole in every sentence to my crazy need to be better than everyone else at speaking Chinese. They know that "How are you?" can't be answered simply. It can't be boiled down to 2 words.
Great relationships take time to build. So though I reminisce about the deep friendships I left behind, I need to keep in mind the fact that it was almost a full year before those friendships were born. But like Tom Petty said, "The waiting is the hardest part."