Friday, July 22, 2011

Just saying 'hi'

The easiest way to be kind to a stranger is just saying 'hi'. I didn't just happen to write about a bus ride in my first post as just an example, I'm on a bus on a daily basis as I travel to and from work. And every time I get on I say 'hi' to the bus driver and when I get off I say thank you and wish the bus driver a nice day or evening.

As I said, that is, very, very easy. But why greet just the bus driver? Why won't I acknowledge the presence of all my fellow commuters? Some of them answer their calls politely and loud, so I know their first name. I even know that a young woman lives with a roommate whom she tells to buy certain groceries and I know how they both hate cleaning the apartment and are very happy on a not so regular basis to have 'finally cleaned the entire kitchen.'

I know one guy has a dog and lives in a fabulous apartment not too far from mine. Someone else was very dissapointed by a friend whom she ended a call with only after shouting she thought this friend was 'a very bad judge of character!' A blonde in a navy blue trenchcoat never, ever wears any other shoes but her black pumps with low heels. And I know one woman got pregnant and is now on mat leave. Or really she had ballooned and from one day to the next she wasn't on the bus anymore, so I came to the mat leave conclusion myself.

But we never speak. And that's OK. But we also never say 'hello'. And why not, for heaven's sake? I'm probably going to put more thinking into reasons behind the behaviour, but for now I will settle for starting to say 'hi' to my fellow straphangers. 

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