How you doing ?


Having almost completed a year in US, a question that was thrown to me on one of the occasions, kept me thinking that whole day. I was asked, “what was the weirdest thing you have experienced in US”. Two reasons why it caught me off guard – one, I was in a huge gathering with people who knew each other, way more than they knew me and two, when this question was asked, I suddenly experienced a thundering silence around me πŸ™‚

It did take me a while to think about the weirdest of the weird things I have seen in this country. I did have several options, such as explicit calculation of the tip amount in some of the restaurants, to the extent that they refused to accept a cheque without a “20%” tip. But perhaps, the best of the lot would be the fact that people on the road, look at you and ask you, “How you doing today” and walk away at the exact same pace, without pausing to hear the answer. Every other day, as I walk down the lane, from my house to the campus, I see umpteen number of people who look at me and ask me the same question, with an unnatural amount of seriousness in their faces. They then continue to walk without even waiting for an answer, be it a good or a bad one. It baffled me in the beginning and I used to pause and turn around to see if they even bothered. But as time progressed, and things seemed more obvious, I realised that courtesy was the word for it. Phrases such as – “How you doing”, “Hows everything”, “Whats up” etc – do not really require a response. During my initial few months here, my inexperienced self, wondered if it was just me who got this response. But I soon realised that was not the case !! πŸ™‚

Because, thats America for you !! πŸ™‚

Disclaimer: This post bears no intent to attack the morality of any individual or a group of people πŸ™‚ It just portrays some views, purely based on my perspectives and can hence not be quoted / referenced.

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~ by Niranjan Nandakumar on May 27, 2007.

12 Responses to “How you doing ?”

  1. in singapore, if u stop n ask someone how they’re doing, they’ll stare back at u like u just arrived from Mars. i haven’t tried doing that, but i hv tried smiling at ppl, n i’ve gotten a response of similar kind. that’s what’s gr8 bout places like America and Australia. the people are so friendly πŸ™‚

  2. Well thats better than realising after you respond that they dont expect a response !! πŸ™‚ Dont know about Australia. But I believe over there, people see more of Kangaroos and less of humans. So they ought to be friendly when they see one πŸ™‚ he he.

  3. My view and experience have been similar. And if you do get lucky to the extent somone listens (assuming the person who passed you by, was a faint acquaintance), then, within a couple of lines, you would realize, that nothing of what we are saying is being registered in their minds… they are already looking out for god-knows-what? It cant be Kangaroos, as its America I was referring to πŸ™‚

    Several wierd things I have noticed too…but this is definitely a starking ‘first’!

  4. “Disclaimer: This post bears no intent to attack the morality of any individual or a group of people πŸ™‚ It just portrays some views, purely based on my perspectives and can hence not be quoted / referenced.” ROFL! :))

  5. whats with the change in theme and all..i thought u loved nebula πŸ˜‰ or is it that too many people were tellin u its pink and gurlie gurlie πŸ˜€

  6. nice one, am sure suraj wouldnt have a problem with the tip part πŸ˜€

  7. I love the new site design. Very cool!

  8. @Gene … just a formality satisfied thats all πŸ™‚

    @Glam … Just a precaution, if somebody wanted to sue me for this πŸ˜‰

    @ Xeres … Well I myself found it a little difficult to read in that template πŸ™‚

    @Galahad … Oh he sure wont !! He would maybe tip them double that !! πŸ™‚

    @Joseph .. Thanks πŸ™‚

  9. Thanx….Korea was tuf for me, no tipping required at any place..[:D]

  10. lol.. Finally you saved a lot !! πŸ˜‰

  11. i read a column recently where the author faced a similar question and he thought the wierdest thing was the gun culture. He went on to say that the audience there felt that if all the proffs and rest of the students in Virginia Tech were to carry their own guns the tragedy could have been avoided.
    I thought thats wierd πŸ™‚

  12. πŸ™‚ Well it was not part of my experience, thankfully !! But you are right. It is truly wierd.

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