I’m not American, I’m from Europe; Sweden to be exact.
I’ve been to the States, I’ve met Americans, but still I’m not sure I get it. The lingo I mean.
It’s not just about speaking and writing English. I wish it was.
I jumped when the girl behind the cashier asked how I was doing. I almost recoiled although I knew it was simply a polite phrase that could be translated to “welcome” in Swedish. Still, I asked myself, what does she care how I’m doing?
For a Swede an American easily sounds overly friendly. I know this is just a cultural difference, but I don’t know how to behave and what to expect. I like the friendliness, but I’m never sure if I respond in the expected way or if I’m a strange UFO.
I try to be myself, and be honest, but still, I don’t know if I match the pattern, if I follow the social code. What I say and write could be misunderstood. I want to be on the right level of friendliness, but I’m not sure what that is. I can't measure by Swedish standards. We come from another planet.