Perspectives on the United States

The article about an Irishman’s perspective on the United States confirmed many things I have hears time and time again. One thing that I found interesting was when he discussed how people in the US seem to be smiling all the time. I thought this was funny because when I travelled to France I was told to be mindful of smiling at strangers. Initially, this seemed outlandish. Why wouldn’t I smile at people? If I see someone, my default reaction is to give them a small smile. If I didn’t smile at strangers, I would feel that I’m being unnecessarily rude to them. However, I began to learn that in many countries smiling at random people on the street is not a common pleasantry exchanged among strangers. This “friendly” disposition I assume is even more exaggerated due to the fact that I have lived my entire life in a southern state known for its friendly culture. One thing I learned this week that will influence my action in the future was that people from the US are typically in a hurry. I know that I’m guilty of this. I like to be punctual, which for means being around fifteen minutes early. My need to be punctual typically causes me to walk quickly and appear very rushed. I think that when I travel abroad, I will need to research local customs related to time so that I can acclimate appropriately.

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