Affection of Climate to Human Mentality

 

I met various people in LA; Yfs family and friends, the immigration officers at the airport, the chef of a sushi restaurant and the shopkeepers of stores I visited, etc. Everyone I met was friendly, talkative and sociable.

 

As I mentioned in the previous chapter, the immigration officer at the airport was a "bizarre" person. He was interested in my baseball cap, not in me, and almost all of his questions were about my 1FC Cologne cap.

 

When I entered a shop to buy something in LA, the conversation exchanged between me, the customer, and the shopkeeper was about three times longer in comparison to a similar situation in London.

At the cashier of the shop, I was always welcomed by the friendly greeting.

"Hi! How are you?"

Also in England, they say "hi" to the customer, but they seldom ask, "How are you?" Furthermore, the way of saying "hi" in LA seemed to me a little different than in London. It seemed to take three and half seconds to say ehif. When I was asked how I was, even if I was aware of the fact that the shop keeper had no interest in my health, I had no other choice to reply by using the phrase that I had learned in the first English lesson at my junior high school;

"Fine, thank you, and you?"

The shopkeeper said to me, "Not too bad." or "Ifm OK." or something similar.

After the payment was handed over, the conversation continued. When I was about to leave the cashier, the shopkeeper always said to me, "Have a nice day!" with soaring tone at the end of their words.

When I heard that, I could not keep from saying, "Oh, thanks, the same to you."

Then, the shopkeeper said,

"I hope so."

This was the ending of our long conversation. Such conversation had to be repeated every time when I bought something, even just a newspaper or a chewing gum.

I do not say such conversation is meaningless. I admit such conversation sometimes played an important role as a lubricant of human relation. However, I also have to admit the content of the conversation in this situation is totally empty. No useful information is exchanged at all!

 

At the sushi restaurant, Y introduced me to the chef and said that I was from London.

"I envy the people like you, who live in such a nice climate."

I said to him. He replied,

"Here is just like a paradise. I cannot understand why some people want to live in a cold place like London."        

Next day, at the garage on the way from Yfs office to home, I said the same thing to a Japanese employee.

"This climate makes everyone lazy and crazy," he said.

Anyway, I have to conclude that the affection of the climate in LA to the mentality of local people is quite large and serious.