Thursday, 15 January 2009

Friendly Americans

Americans are friendly aren't they. I really like them. They're really easy to get along with. Probably the friendliest nation in the world. I mean Keith Murray from We Are Scientists is an American and he is the friendliest and most likable man on the planet. I'd go as far to say that he is supernaturally friendly.

Sometimes though the occasional Americans friendliness can spill over and go a bit too far. On public transport for example. Some Americans just love talking to strangers on public transport.

I know its me thats in the wrong. I should be friendlier. But I like listening to music when I travel or reading and I know its really terrible but I don't like having to make the effort to be personable. I prefer just sitting with my own thoughts.

The worst is transatlantic flights as they are very very long. I've worked out how to get out of conversations on transatlantic flights though. The second somebody starts talking to me I just say to them what I imagine is the worst thing to hear at the start of a long flight.

"Im really glad you started talking to me. I was meaning to ask you, Do you know Jesus, I mean do you REALLY know Jesus? Let me tell you about him"

That normally stops them wanting to talk me. 

I had a chatty American try and start a conversation with me on the train today. It was especially frustrating as I was really enjoying listening to the new Rivers Cuomo album and having a really good game of Klondike on my Ipod.

I took my ear phones out to talk to them briefly, but I feel bad as I was clearly trying to get out of the conversation and although I looked up from game of Klondike I didn't stop playing it.

Eventually the chatty American went to sit in another carriage. When I looked up near the end of my journey I saw that the entire carriage was laughing and joking and having a good time.

I suppose the end of this story should be me realizing  that if I loosened up a little bit I'd make more friends and have a better time. As I looked into that other carriage though all I could think was "Thank Fuck, I didn't sit in there, it's full of them"


Manda said...

See now, you're the kind of friend I'd like to have... I "listen" to what you have to say in my own time at my own convenience and only say something back if I want to.

And I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be offended if we didnt speak for a while. So if I dont feel like putting any effort into our relationship, thats ok too.

I might just adopt you as my new BFF anyway. You dont have to do anything, but let me know if thats a problem anyway :D

The Loss Adjuster said...

I think the overt friendliness of most Americans is a byproduct of our discomfort with silence. If we're friendly, you'll talk to us. And if you talk to us, we won't have to sit quietly with our own thoughts. *gasp* I think I'm going to sit quietly now and think about what I've done.

jamie said...

May i suggest purchasing a MASSIVE pair of headphones and never taking them off. Even if you don't have an ipod thingummy with you, you can just ignore the advances of nosey / friendly types by pretending you can't hear them.

This also works very for paranoid eavesdropping...

Richard said...

My brain is working overtime, what a sing along


Tell me about it. It loads better than the last two Weezer Albums

Richard said...

Which songs did you cover in that Oregon bar?

Katie said...

Hahaha Keith handles that terrible interviewer quite well!

As for over-friendly Americans... well, I'll just say that I'm with you regarding public transportation. Here's hoping you never meet "The Happy Guy" on New York's subway. He refers to himself only in the third person, he's not at all funny, but he tries to get people to smile by holding a mirror in front of their faces.

Actually, to do that on a NYC train at 7:30 on a Tuesday takes some courage....