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Thank You Anyone?

They're not as friendly to bus drivers on my new route as they are in Leeds.

In Leeds, every morning, when you got on the bus, you would say, 'good morning' or 'ya all right?' or at least 'hiya'.

It seems I am the only person who actually says 'good morning'. Feel a bit awkward as well. Like I'm doing something out of the norm, sticking out as a foreigner, as if my accent doesn't do that on its own.

In Leeds, as people would file off the bus, you would hear 'ta' and 'ta love' and 'cheers mate' or just plan 'cheers' sometimes 'thanks', very rarely a full 'thank you' but there was always a recognition that as bumpy and long as the ride was, it was muchly appreciated by all.

I wouldn't say it's because people in Belfast are rude. They have been some of the most polite people.

In Leeds, there was a harshness, a real in-your-face-no-pretenses-what-you-see-is-what-you-get-type of attitude that could be intimidating and appear rude. You had to get used to it. It was refreshing to not be patronized to but I can't say I ever got used to explaining why one says 'you're welcome'.

Belfast doesn't have that. It feels a lot more like I'm used to. I can judge people it seems a lot easier here and I seem to say things that sound less like I'm from a foreign country.

But this whole bus thing has me stumped. Everyone is so friendly and polite here - what's the deal with not thanking the driver?

Ah, the mysteries of life.


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