Monday, February 04, 2008


This is a post that I have thought about writing a number of times, but have never gotten around to.
Since we moved into our new home some 11 months ago, I have found myself thinking a number of times that people are just not as friendly as they were in our old neighbourhood.  Now I don't mean our immediate neighbours, most of whom recognise us, I mean those people who we only meet once or twice.
Now call me old fashioned but when I'm walking along and I meet someone coming in the other direction, I will normally smile and often say "Hello".  I have however noticed that if I do that here, it is rare that my smile or greeting is returned.  More often the reaction is that I get a look that says 'Who let you out of the asylum?' That's if I'm lucky.  More often there is no reaction at all.  What has happened?  Have the body snatchers invaded?  Is there some new disease that means people aren't civil to one another anymore?  I must admit to be quite taken aback.
What's even stranger is that the same thing happens when I'm out walking the dog.  Now normally that is something that makes even the most harden misery-guts smile.  If you're walking a dog with character people smile at you.  They can't help it.  Not here it would seem.  Sure other dog owners do, it's that kind of comradeship that dog walkers have together, but no one else does.
Now I know that I shouldn't draw comparisons to where we used to live, and I don't mean to, suffice to say, that I don't care about the reaction, I am still going to continue in my smile and say "hello" mode and see if it has any effect on those people that I meet more than the once.  Viva community spirit!

1 comment:

Z said...

I show myself as a complete provincial by smiling at people when I catch their eye in London. They are sometimes startled into smiling back, which is highly gratifying.

Here, say hello to someone and you are likely to be drawn into a long conversation.