Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Good Day

Good Evening - pic by Nancy Blaser

"Good Morning.  Good Afternoon.  Good Evening."  No, I have not turned into Truman from the Truman Show.  We have found these are standard greetings in the eastern Caribbean depending on the time of day.  You are probably thinking "Okay.  What's the big deal?"  Well think about it.

Typical exchange in America - Let's say it's a small to medium size retailer for example.
You = "I am looking for....."
Or maybe this - 
You = "Hi,  I am looking for...."

Typical exchange in the Caribbean -with the same size retailer
Clerk = "Good Day."
You = "Good Day."
Clerk = "How is your day going so far?"
You = "Good.  How is your day going?"
Clerk = "Good.  How can I help you?"
You = "I am looking for....."

I realize it's only a small difference but it is very noticeable here.  Friends from the USA bought a condo in St Thomas USVI last year.  They noticed the same thing.  In the Caribbean, everyone takes the time to greet each other properly and then proceed to business.  It is considered rude to launch straight into your needs without first giving the other person a proper greeting.  The above greetings are also heard when you pass someone on the sidewalk (with a quick head nod) or as people get on the bus.


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