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Old 10-23-2018, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Australia
481 posts, read 163,935 times
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What do people mean by friendly? Interesting question. Is it the waiter who pops over constantly to ask how is the food? Reminds me of my daughter, in her uni days, coming home from her waitressing job to tell me that she had oozed charm and picked up some tips. Or the cousin whom my husband worked for in his uni days, admittedly long ago, who made much small talk in his general store and then would whinge about the blasted Australian customers who talked on and on and would never shut up.

Or do we mean people who say good morning in the lifts, who say hello when you are walking or who want to tell you their life story at the start of a ten hour flight (enough to make most of us want to move seats straight away!)

I read a serious book by a social anthropologist about British etiquette and there are certainly strong elements of it here still. Such as saying hello to walkers before about 8am, before it is too busy, approaching neighbours when they are in the front yard for a chat rather than the back yard, it being regarded as private.
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Old 10-23-2018, 11:24 PM
 
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It means different things to different folks. I guess recognising another's existence would be starters. Politeness not to be confused with friendliness. I can see how people find Australians rather closed. Many preferring to stay in cliques, which can make moving location that much more harder in connecting.
While casual discussions do happen, not to the same extent as some other countries. Which again takes me back to travellers/tourists. Many out of normal comfort zone are generally far more open and relaxed with conversing. Reason I thought places like Sydney, but hardly limited to, are most friendly in that sense, but depending on location when in that city. Locals living in areas where more tourists frequent may themselves be more open to dialogue with strangers as well.
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Old 10-24-2018, 12:29 AM
 
Location: Australia
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Actually I am not sure about that. As I do some babysitting grandkids I am used to going to parks and playgrounds. In the Eastern suburbs people seem to avoid speaking to each other in the playgrounds and I think it is partly as some of the people there are paid Nannies and or tourists, not interested in making permanent connections with people. In our area, near the beach where there are some tourists it can be much the same. The friendliest areas by far are places like Como and Engadine, which are on the outskirts of the city and not on the tourist trails.

I have actually heard from quite a few people that Perth is a good place to make new friends as many people there do not have existing networks. But the friendliest people I come across, on a casual basis, are inevitably Queenslanders, especially from the north.

But obviously people being casually friendly and making friends are different isssues.
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Old 10-24-2018, 06:41 AM
 
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Not entirely so I agree, avoidance being rather a common theme throughout. But in certain settings where tourists visit have found a degree of openness. Be that a café or pub or facility. Nothing obviously too deep. But find travellers generally more open, as I am myself abroad.


Perth did once have a reputation of sorts for 'friendliness' some decades back, but haven't heard that claim for a considerable time. Difficult to connect, as well as cliquey more what I hear from incomers and from my observation, people keep very much to themselves.
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Old 10-24-2018, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Australia
481 posts, read 163,935 times
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I actually wonder whether technology has contributed to a decline in social skills, especially those of making casual acquaintance. I have noticed in some settings which have many young mothers that they do not strike up conversations with each other and seem almost shy. But if I or someone else does initiate, they seem very happy to join in. Otherwise it seems easier for them to be glued to their phones.

We did not find Americans especially friendly on our recent trip, nor the French, nor Singaporeans. Italians more so. I have heard owners of hostels saying that people are less interested in talking to each other than in the past as they spend so much time on their devices keeping in touch with home.
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Old 10-25-2018, 06:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarisaMay View Post
I actually wonder whether technology has contributed to a decline in social skills, especially those of making casual acquaintance. I have noticed in some settings which have many young mothers that they do not strike up conversations with each other and seem almost shy. But if I or someone else does initiate, they seem very happy to join in. Otherwise it seems easier for them to be glued to their phones.

We did not find Americans especially friendly on our recent trip, nor the French, nor Singaporeans. Italians more so. I have heard owners of hostels saying that people are less interested in talking to each other than in the past as they spend so much time on their devices keeping in touch with home.

I feel that has been established, that technology has contributed to declining social skills across the board. This in turn has aggravated the condition of loneliness, so much so that in UK a minister has been appointed within that role. I seem to recall the Victorian state government has followed by appointing one as well. It does look to be becoming the curse of out times. Connected but alone.


I suspect Australians whole hearted take up of technology has come at a cost definitely, as we have never been one of the more out going nations in social interaction. Hence shyer or less socially engaged people can probably feel more engaged in a sense through technology.


I believe more outgoing cultures from areas like Middle East but hardly confined to do find the social isolation of Australian suburban living challenging.


Interesting how you found Americans when on holiday. Now the French, a race I know well through a number of years of living there, can indeed be stand offish. Although if you were a pretty twenty something tourist 'over friendly' may have resulted in a slightly different experience.
But still French like to talk and discuss. If one speaks the language especially, quite easy to engage in bars and some cafes. I trust that hasn't been replaced by some app?
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Old 10-26-2018, 02:01 AM
 
Location: Australia
481 posts, read 163,935 times
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We actually noticed in France that there were noticeably less people on their phones in restaurants than elsewhere. Of course, China seems to have the most and there were massive numbers on their devices in Singapore. But we actually did find it hard to communicate with quite a lot of people in France as our French is pretty rusty. One night a local couple were next to us in a restaurant and the waiter was being as rude to them as to us (he was quite appalling) We really tried to talk to this couple about our shared woes and had to default to very broken Italian, which we had in common. Again, in many shops it was hard to communicate.

But unfortunately as you get older people almost everywhere are less inclined to speak to you.
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Old 10-28-2018, 06:33 AM
 
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Good to hear that the French have not completely sold out to the scourge of excess social media. Without language though it would be more difficult. Not all French as very confident with their English. I personally miss very much the discussions around a meal table, in a café or other place with like minded French people.
Singapore, always a rather shallow place IMO. Prefer Malaysia by far. But I'm afraid your probably right. The older we get the more invisible we become.
I do wonder if retirement to an expat stronghold, like Portugal or Spain or Penang may not result in a more interesting life when the time comes? IMO, Australia has always been a country more for youth and rather ageist to boot. The grey nomad thing has become mighty expensive these days.
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Old 10-28-2018, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Australia
481 posts, read 163,935 times
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We much prefer Malaysia to Singapore too. Especially Sabah!

We are retired but I do not know anyone who has retired to an expat location, so do not know.
Many people, like ourselves, are retiring with elderly parents still alive and requiring attention (mother-in-law is in nineties) as well as grandchildren with whom we choose to spend time and give some limited assistance with the cost of childcare. So the idea of retiring overseas does not come into the equation. Our friends are so busy between it all that some weeks it can be hard to find time to meet up.

The only friends who have even left left Sydney for a life up or down the coast are in the process of moving back, one for medical reasons and one for family reasons. I think, on the whole retired people here have a good life. Really, whether it is boring is an individual thing. There is so much to do if you want and overseas travel is just so cheap these days compared to when we were young.
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Old 10-28-2018, 04:28 PM
 
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most = brisbane

least = adelaide .
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