Thursday, July 02, 2009

Politeness in Geneva

Car drivers are perhaps not the politest persons you can find in Geneva. But I found other situations where Geneva politeness impressed me. When you’ve put your groceries on the band at the checkout of Coop or Migros and you place one of those items which separate your groceries from the following client, you receive a polite « Merci » from the genevois.

And probably not only from the real genevois people, but also from many expats. I personally learned to thank for this gesture as well while living here (never thought of thanking for that in Germany!! I can’t remember loads of thank yous for this gesture!!).
Additionally, I made the following experience: When I – certainly by accident bump into someone with my stroller (let’s say at Coop) I always say PARDON. The interesting thing to me as that they always answer with PARDON in such cases as well! As if they hitted me and not the other way round. Now I do fortunately not bump into someone all the time! But there are enough situations where you have to apologize in daily life. It makes you feel nice when you get a PARDON back for a thing that you have done wrong.

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