Canadians Really Talk to Strangers?
“Hi, how are you doing?”
Waiting for the light to change so I could cross Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver on a quiet Tuesday morning, a voice of familiarity is the last thing I expected to hear.
I turned my head to the side, and it turns out it wasn’t a voice of familiarity at all. Instead, this complete stranger had said hello and asked me how my day was. Before I could comprehend what had just happened and gather the words to reply, the light changed and he was on his merry way.
This may be foreign to many of us, but it is common here in Canada. In this case, it was just two of us at the intersection, a situation that most of us try so hard to deny the reality of. We pretend that the other person isn’t there, bury our faces into our phones, and if the situation lingers long enough, it becomes totally awkward.
That doesn’t exist in Canada, where a simple greeting to a complete stranger who’s path we cross is nothing unusual. And certainly nothing to be threatened by, fearful of or looking to avoid. Perhaps another thing the rest of us can learn from!