The Friendly Midwest

I have traveled through more of Chile than the U.S. Granted, the U.S. is much bigger and it is a much greater undertaking to get to know the whole country. Before this trip, I had been to the Midwest once, to St. Louis in 2007 to visit my friends from study abroad. I had always heard that people from the Midwest were really friendly. I didn’t particularly notice that during my trip to St. Louis. I didn’t find the people to be mean by any means, but I didn’t notice any particular difference.

Not so in Minnesota.

Minneapolis from the Foshay Tower.

The people I encountered in the Twin Cities were SO. NICE. From waiters to cashiers at Target to my friend’s friends and roommates, everyone was genuinely friendly. I think that on the East Coast, people are generally polite, but don’t go above and beyond to make strangers feel comfortable, but I definitely got that feeling in Minnesota.

In fact, it inspired me to attempt to do the impossible: be friendly in Santiago. Instead of just saying “hola” to the cashiers at the grocery store I have tried saying “Hola, cómo está?” (Hi, how are you?) Adding those two simple words sometimes has good effects and gets a smile. Sometimes it doesn’t. After all, we are in Santiago. But making this small effort makes me feel better and more positive, and that’s always good.

The famous cherry on a spoon in Minneapolis, the day after it snowed.


7 thoughts on “The Friendly Midwest

  1. I keep hearing that all Americans are extremely friendly actually and, as someone who’s about to take her first trip to the states in two weeks, that’s good to know.

    • Yes, I’d say in general Americans are friendly, with friendliness decreasing when you are in major cities, like NY for example. That being said, please don’t judge our friendliness by the way you are treated at Border Control. Those officers are NOT friendly at all. They will probably make you feel like a criminal. But once you’re in, things should improve. 🙂 What part of the US are you going to?

      • I’m doing a little road trip in California for just over a week. Davis – San Francisco – Santa Cruz – Los Angeles 🙂 My first time in the States so I can’t wait!

  2. hahaha! Good luck with your attempt GPD, but I’m absolutely convinced that is a waste of time to try to change our grumpy mood, unfortunately is a lost cause. :o(

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