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31. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 762 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Dymphna

I remember seeing a comedy skit about a man from northern England saying 'Hi' to strangers in London. He even nodded his head at some. Caused quite the disturbance as the news people got involved in covering the oddity. LOL

Yes, I remember that one - on the Mash Report I think? And not too far from the truth! I remember having to warn my mother in law, from north east England, that she might get funny looks if she talked to people on the Tube!!

32. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 762 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Yes, found it - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YxLiLFjYKc

33. Posted by neurotraveler (Budding Member 17 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

This discussion reminds me of an incident we had last year in China where I spent 6 months teaching in Shanghai. We lived in an Airbnb in the former French Concession because we wanted to live and meet some locals. However, much to my surprise it was very difficult to engage our neighbors in conversation (I speak Mandarin). One night we came home rather late and there was a fellow outside our building and i greeted him with "Ni hao" (how are you?", the common greeting in Chinese. Unlike other such encounters, this led to an interesting conversation. He asked me where I was from, and when I said the USA, he said that he knew I wasn't from Shanghai. I responded that yes, my Chinese wasn't that fluent and our dress probably gave it away, but he said, "No, it's because you were so friendly. If you were from Shanghai, you wouldn't have greeted me." So it's not just London that is like that.

To the OPs original question, we usually travel with a combination of planned and impromptu plans. I always book a place (now, an Airbnb) for the first night or two in a place but I usually leave the last few days free so we can make changes in our plans as we go along.

34. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 844 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

So funny about English and being friendly . . . we've had the exact opposite experience. They were almost too friendly. I likened them to puppy dogs at one point, very enthusiastically friendly. In London we ran into the same thing. We would ask someone for directions and end up in the middle of a conversation . . . or a group of Londoners discussing the best way to get where we were going and then telling us everything else we should visit. Out in the countryside, people went out of their way to greet us, share information with us and just be friendly. I was so surprised to read the comments above.

35. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 517 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

Like most really busy cities, the context of 'locals' talking to someone new is rather important.
While they're charging along the street to get to work or to a meeting = unfriendly (especially if they're running late because tourists can't walk in a straight line and can't read the 'stand on the right' signs on the escalators etc).
With their head in a book on the tube/train = Depending on the book/chapter etc could go either way.
Sitting on a bench in the sun at lunchtime = probably quite receptive to a quick chat....
Obviously being London there isn't that much sunshine and they won't be so amenable when they've just been rained on

36. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 762 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Andrew Mack

Like most really busy cities, the context of 'locals' talking to someone new is rather important.
While they're charging along the street to get to work or to a meeting = unfriendly (especially if they're running late because tourists can't walk in a straight line and can't read the 'stand on the right' signs on the escalators etc).
With their head in a book on the tube/train = Depending on the book/chapter etc could go either way.
Sitting on a bench in the sun at lunchtime = probably quite receptive to a quick chat....
Obviously being London there isn't that much sunshine and they won't be so amenable when they've just been rained on

Sums us up perfectly Although I reckon we get quite a bit more sunshine than many other parts of the UK

37. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 517 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting ToonSarah

[quote=Andrew Mack]Although I reckon we get quite a bit more sunshine than many other parts of the UK

We do, but still not much in the overall scheme of things.
I rarely had a commute of less than an hour each way, pretty much always worked 8.30am to 7pm+ (anyone that doesn't is the odd one out) and almost never managed to clear the work on my desk, which makes for a long day which tends not to be the case in many other cities.
So yes Londoners are less chatty than many other parts of the UK, but much of my life was consumed by work.
Now I've retired (very early) so the payback for those work absorbed years is hopefully coming through...

38. Posted by Dymphna (Budding Member 93 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

I found it very interesting that on the subway in NYC, no one spoke in English. You would hear conversations in all different languages around you, but seldom in English.

39. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 517 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Dymphna

I found it very interesting that on the subway in NYC, no one spoke in English. You would hear conversations in all different languages around you, but seldom in English.

That's not unusual in most of the 'western world' now.
Not just in the big cities either...

40. Posted by oddgrace (Budding Member 35 posts) 4d Star this if you like it!

My friends like to tease me by saying I’m a fly by the seat of my pants girl within the confines of my plans. :).
Once a region grabs hold of me, I start saving and planning my general route and “must sees” but like the flexibility to spend as much or as little time within them and end up in random destinations along the way!