Seattle Times Covers Seattle's Polite But Unfriendly Demeanor

It is true, it is difficult to get to know people here. Oddly 60% of us are from else where, so it must be someting that happens after you arrive. The article purports our politeness, which can be an empty social grace, or the weather, which makes us “cocoon”, is responsible. I noticed it here first, the trouble actually meeting people, but since then I’ve experienced it all over the country, really. Leave the U.S. if you really want to see outgoing, truly friendly people — well, don’t go to Canada, they are more polite and reserved than Seattlites. Traveling in Cuba, England, Mexico, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Bali…we’ve met many friendly people who introduced themselves to us, wanted to hang out and talk, invited us into their homes… Honestly, I think suburban sprawl, the greater personal space, the lack of urban community planning in the US, less public tranportation, which contribute to our dwindling experience with true hospitality. Perhaps it is more difficult to meet people here than in other cities, but at least we are polite about it.

(The article mentions a charm school here in Seattle and pictures two little girls aged 11 & 9 attending — those things still exist?! Oddly Mrs. Charm School teacher doesn’t teach how to be friendly.)

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