By: Malin Borjeson
As I have traveled between the two continents, I have noticed a huge gap in the level of social contact that occurs in each location. In Sweden, and really Europe in general, people tend to stick to themselves. You do not wave or say hello to random people on the streets if you do not know who they are, and rarely does it occur that you say “excuse me” for accidentally nudging a random stranger. I am not exactly sure why this is. As a tourist, many Americans would think that we are just flat out rude, but I believe that it is more than that. It seems that people in Europe are always being timed and always have a place to be, so they don’t think about waving or saying “excuse me”. In America, people are never really in a rush unless you go into the big cities where people act a little bit more “European”. But out in the rural areas, no one is on a clock. People wake up, they take their time to get to work, and then they come home and spend time with their families. They don’t feel the need to be in a hurry and so consequently they are much more aware of their surroundings. It also might have a little something to do with that famous Southern hospitality.
As a European, I must say that it is a nice change of scenery to find myself in a place where everyone is so kind and nobody feels like they are limited on time. We just get everything done when we do but still manage to make it by at the end of the day.