I don’t know whether this is true of the entire country but the Americans in Atlanta have perfected the art of JNPSMM. That’s right, its Jaan Na Pehchaan, Sab Mere Mehmaan. Everywhere you go you get a taste of what the seniors tell me is Southern Hospitality. Random people will look at you and smile. Almost everyone will tell you “Hey” or “How ya doin?” or a “wassup” as you walk by them. The only people who don’t do this are our very own desis. And that’s when it feels like home.
The other day we went and bought our laptops.. Four of us bought the same piece and we took the subway back. Almost everyone we met asked us “Where’s the sale?” or “Did you get those for free?” Since we Mumbaiites are not used to this inquisitiveness, we were rather taken aback but managed to direct them to Bestbuy. Our major concern was that none of us should get mugged while going back. The only logical explanation I could come up with was that the Americans probably know that Indian students are probably the cheapest and stingiest people here and that we would have stayed up overnight to work out the best deal possible which would make their shopping so much easier. Well we did stay up. And they succeeded.
Strange people, strange habits, but personally I think politeness makes the world a much better place.