This time I'm writing from an extended-stay hotel smack dab in the middle of suburbia. Aaron has been working here since Wednesday supervising the installation of equipment on his first project at Atec. I've been taking advantage of the exercise facilities, swimming pool and cable TV here at the hotel. I can't complain but this really doesn't seem like my life. Accompanying my husband on business trips? I'm nuch more comfortable being the one going on business trips.
Anyway, we've been struck by how ridicuoulsy friendly Americans are! It started with our Delta flight crew on the 9 hour flight from Paris. They were all so happy, like they really enjoyed their jobs (imagine that). One guy even gave us extra cookies because we really liked them! As soon as we got here we went to Best Buy to get cheap cell phones and the manager who helped us even set up and activated the phones for us before we left. Then we were off to dinner, where our server sent us home with "To Go"cups of our free refills (a completely American phenomenon) of lemonade! We didn't even ask for it. Who does that? I went to the grocery store early Wednesday morning and the cashier struck up a conversation with me and had all kinds of questions about living in Germany. We talked for ten minutes! As I was leaving she asked how long we're staying in town and said she hoped she'd see me again. Last night we were swimming in the pool at the hotel and a woman came over and asked if we'd like some cupcakes- it was her daughter's birthday and they had plenty.
As I've said before, it's not that Germans are mean or rude. It's just that people seem much more private and reserved. Strangers are strangers. Neighbors are neighbors. People don't extend such overt friendliness. We didn't realize how different it was until we came back and felt so grateful for someone just being extra nice. It's always the little things that make a big difference.