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Friday, 26 February 2010

Me: ‘Goodmorning everyone!’
Me: ‘Hi there! ’
Me: ‘How are you? ’
Me: ‘Is it normal that people don’t greet each other when they step in the elevator?’
Guy 1: ‘Don’t know, I didn’t hear you’.
Guy 2: ‘Depends on the person I guess’.
Me: ‘I am just surprised that nobody greets each other in this building. I mean, when you step in a full elevator, it’s nice to say something right? You don’t need to have a whole conversation, but just a small greeting would do. How difficult is that?’

I have to admit that I am not impressed by the social skills of my current fellow country men. In Switzerland people might not be outgoing, but they’re certainly polite. Here I feel much more surrounded by an individualistic culture of ‘me before all’. Not just in my building, but also on campus, when I buy tickets at the bus station, when I visit a medical clinic and when I go to a restaurant. I perceive people as quite rude and uninterested and it is starting to bug me because I know other realities. In Switzerland, people greet each other in the street, in Brazil you’re being welcomed like a princess when you visit a store and in Africa you’ll end up having philosophic conversations with your taxi driver. But here I rely on a bunch of new friends to feel human. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m so full of hormons right now that little is needed to get me upset.

I have tried to stay friendly and be optimistic that one day, someone will greet me. But in the meantime all my senses tell me.....

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