Thursday, October 2, 2008


First, of course, is Valentina and her family and how nice they’ve been to me.

Next, is the simple fact that everyone seems to greet each other on the street. Not all the time, but certainly if I pass someone inside the gates of my apartment complex, we greet each other.

On the Metro, when a seat opens up, people offer it to the others around them before sitting, or insist that their friend sits. Walking around the city, I felt welcomed even though nobody said a word to me.

And another example: today I had to ask two men on the side of the street to help me find the correct bus stop to reach the Metro stop. These men were so nice that even though I could barely express myself in their language, they stopped whatever they were doing to help me figure out the correct place. One eventually called another friend to ask for the information. Then they walked me down the road to the proper place and looked at the time table with me, pointing out the next expected bus.

I don’t think that would happen in America. Not that people are unfriendly, but the person would either point out the correct place or else say something like, “I’m sorry, I don’t know.” I am really intrigued by this drop-everything-and-help-a-fellow-human attitude. I wonder if it will persist, or if I have so far gotten lucky.

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