Elevator Conversations: Cultural Differences

Customs across different countries is always fascinating. My husband, Kevin, and I noticed that every person who came into the elevator after us would always say “Hi”/”Hello” when they entered and then “bye” when they left. In the US, you either complete ignore the other person or struggle through the painful conversation about the weather.

While discussing this interesting phenomena with Dutch students, one remarked that he noticed in the US that the grocery checkout people always want to talk. In my experience, most just ignore you and do their job. There are a few people who are interested and ask you questions. However, in the US it seems that where you are located can affect the chances of a conversation. When I travel to the southern states, I get more friendly service with conversation.
Planning an experiment, will try to have conversations with people in the elevator. The results should be interesting.

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