Is it easy for you to say “hi” to a stranger?

Before I came here, a bunch of people told me that I need to brace myself in terms of language problems, homesickness, different lifestyles, etc. However, no one tells me how nice Americans are. Since I live on campus, the school’s shuttle bus becomes the most popular mode of transportation in my daily life. Even now, I still remember the first day I got on the bus: every one before me said “hi” “good morning” to the driver, of course, the driver replied them as well with a big smile. I was so surprised because for me, it is so weird to say “hi” to a driver, a stranger. When it was my turn to get on, I cannot help to feel nervous, I know I should say something, but at that time, at the first week I came here, I just felt it was too hard to open my mouth. Even though the words I tried to say are the ones I learned in my first English class. Finally, I spoke out, with really faint voice. I felt like I am the only one who can hear it. Surprisingly, the driver heard me and replied “good morning, sweetie!”.

That was the first step I took in this country. People here greet with each other from day to night and say “thanks and have a good day” to everyone who helped them, including the drivers, the cashiers, the front desk people. People here are so polite. Maybe this is what we call cultural differences, Chinese people are more introvert and feel embarrassed to express themselves. But still, I do hope one day, the greeting thing in China will become as usual as here.

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