Location 1: 5th Avenue and East 75th St. It’s a windy January morning and I am waiting for the bus as are three other ladies. We stand there for more than 10 minutes. No eye contact, no acknowledgment of each other’s presence and no attempt to start a conversation. No one says: Have you been waiting long? Oh what cold weather we are having. I have learnt unless there’s an emergency DO NOT INITIATE CONVERSATION while waiting for the bus. When I once asked a lady at the same bus stop if she had been waiting long she looked at me with what seemed like utter disbelief. The only explainable reason was that I had broken the ‘silent wait for the bus stop rule’. She simply nodded her head and said “No”.
Location 2 similar scenario and same language but we cross the pond and I am in my former London hometown. It’s a cold December morning and I am waiting at the Bus Stop on Gower Street. A lady comes up to me and says “Have you been waiting long?”, “No not really about 5 minutes” I answer. “They say it’s going to snow later today” she then adds. “Oh really…” and that’s the start of our weather initiated bus conversation. Once the bus arrives we get on and that’s then end of our discussion about the weather, the up coming election and dancing with the stars.
My wife and I have good friends, a couple we hang out with almost every weekend, who met standing on a subway platform about 7 years ago. She asked him, “Is it coming?” He said, “I think so.” And they haven’t stopped talking since:-) Of course neither of them are originally New Yorkers: she’s from Brazil, he’s from Maryland.
PS- I just saw my comment and I guess my grammar was poor… Neither of them *is* originally a New Yorker….