cultural shock: because we all do things differently

I found myself looking up from my book, my eyes searching on the full bus. My eyes landed on a group of 20-somethings like myself, though unlike me, they didn’t resort to quieter forms of self entertainment. I found myself frowning at the group of 20-somethings talking loudly at the back of the bus. They weren’t exactly sitting together, though their bodies twisted to face one another, and I turned too, even though I had my eBook out and my headphones on, at a volume that drowned out everything else except their conversation and laughters.

People talking loudly on the public transportation system?

That’s something you’d rarely find in Northern Europe. In fact, trains in Denmark has ‘silent zones’ where the rule is like the name suggests – you make no noise while you sit there – the concept is like the one we observe in a library. The only time I can think of people talking above a whisper on public transport is 2 AM in the morning and everyone’s packed to the train inebriated and rowdy post-party (I’ve been there), yet still, that’d be the outlier – most people are respectful of each other’s space and their privacy – which is something I find so endearing that I wished it was the universal, rather than ‘norm’ in a few countries in the world only.


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