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Old 07-07-2010, 09:09 AM
 
327 posts, read 427,584 times
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I've recently arrived in Australia. Most of the time when an Australian greets me, he/she adds "How are you?". Am I supposed to tell them "I'm fine" and ask them how they are doing, then listen to them telling me that they are fine, before proceeding with the conversation/transaction? Or, is "how are you" something which can be safely ignored without offending anyone?

So far, I've just said "Fine thanks" without asking the person if he/she is fine as well. Is this alright? When the teller at a supermarket asks me how I am, can I just smile and pay him/her, or should I tell him/her that I'm fine first?
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:19 PM
 
14,790 posts, read 13,482,539 times
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where are you from?

Yeah, generally when someone asks you how you are, it is polite to answer & ask the question back.

I don't think that is necessarily an Australian thing. It's manners!
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC
10,791 posts, read 7,496,571 times
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I hear "How ya goin'?" more than "How are you?".

Just reply "Good, and you?" and then carry on.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:17 PM
 
14,790 posts, read 13,482,539 times
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yep - or "how's it goin??"
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:44 PM
 
327 posts, read 427,584 times
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I think I'll just keep going with "Fine thanks" without any follow-up question. It seems so unnecessary and fake to ask someone how they are, if it's someone I don't know or care about. Seems likely that people I ask will only give me a senseless, fake answer in return in any case. Social rituals are so lame; perhaps I should just reply with "Shut up, slave!".
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:47 PM
 
787 posts, read 1,512,600 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikMartinsen View Post
I think I'll just keep going with "Fine thanks" without any follow-up question. It seems so unnecessary and fake to ask someone how they are, if it's someone I don't know or care about. Seems likely that people I ask will only give me a senseless, fake answer in return in any case. Social rituals are so lame; perhaps I should just reply with "Shut up, slave!".
Do you by any chance come from America? I don't mean this as an insult, but rather as a cultural thing that I noticed when I lived in America is that not once when I went shopping did the person behind the checkout counter ask me how I was and seem willing to actually have a conversation. It was all mere formality. Whereas, in Australia you can actually get a chatty 'checkout chick.' Or maybe it was just the area that I shopped at.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vichel View Post
I hear "How ya goin'?" more than "How are you?".

Just reply "Good, and you?" and then carry on.
I don't even put the "and" in there. I just reply "Good. You?" or moreover "Good. Yourself?"
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:16 AM
 
35 posts, read 82,714 times
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Person A- "Haa yaa gaaaarrrrrn?"
Person B- "Good mate, you?"
Person A- "Oh yeah, not bad."
Person B- "Thats the way."

A response I like is "She's apps". I dont think though someone with anything other than an Australian twang could get away with that.

Simple pleasantries. We are big on this in Australia. You dont have to talk about everything under the sun but a short exchange such as the above will suffice. No skin off anybodies nose, so dont get too upset when someone says hi.

One thing I really miss about Australia is the very familiar random conversations you can have with store owners, newsagents etc.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:33 AM
 
Location: Australia
121 posts, read 208,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikMartinsen View Post
I think I'll just keep going with "Fine thanks" without any follow-up question. It seems so unnecessary and fake to ask someone how they are, if it's someone I don't know or care about. Seems likely that people I ask will only give me a senseless, fake answer in return in any case. Social rituals are so lame; perhaps I should just reply with "Shut up, slave!".
Social politeness is not going to cost you anything but two sentences....

Surely, you must have time for this.

If anything, you're probably doing better than the person behind the counter serving you. He/she would much rather be somewhere else.
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:12 AM
 
9,326 posts, read 18,983,019 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeldew View Post
Social politeness is not going to cost you anything but two sentences....

Surely, you must have time for this.

If anything, you're probably doing better than the person behind the counter serving you. He/she would much rather be somewhere else.
True and the OP is a guest in Oz.... one should follow local rules to be polite..
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:18 AM
 
Location: Phoenix
896 posts, read 236,576 times
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Give 'em the Jim Carry line.......

gaday mate throw another shrimp on the barbi
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