Southern Hospitality

On the first day of our trip in Raleigh, I noticed how relaxed and calm everyone is. When you go into a shop, the cashier will give you a cheery dissertation on the weather, the basketball game and the latest highway smash-up; When I respond, this is followed by “And how do y’all like the area?” At first, I’m a bit nonplussed (it’s such a far cry from the Massachusetts counter service of “NEXT!”), but soon I come back with an all-purpose response:

Sure is nice/sunny/warm/rainy. From Jersey, but we met in Massachusetts. Yeah, for college. Oh your cousin/brother-in-law/neighbor went to UMass? That’s awesome. Yeah, we might move down here but not for a few years. His folks live in Raleigh. No, we’re not married yet. No, no kids. Thanks, you have a good day too.

It’s very friendly and cheerful. Of course, this is slightly less cute when I’m in line to buy tampons and Advil.

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