I was impressed with the high quality of Marin manners – children, adolescents, hospitality staff, adults, wait staff, bartenders, doctors, dentists and administrators of nitrous oxide All were polite and gracious. It is the antithesis of what I find here in Canada – which is supposed to be known for its good manners. It was when I left in 1967 but now I joke that I practiced my good manners anticipating my return to the land of good manners only to learn that I was the only one that had them. That is an exaggeration of course but let us put it this way – civility is not rampant, particularly in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Rampant shall be the word of the day:rampant inflation: uncontrolled, unrestrained, unchecked, unbridled, widespread; out of control, out of hand, rife.
Observed in both Marin and Vancouver is the tendency of tourists to be rude. My analytical mind has made this deduction – the rudeness stems from anxiety and a sense of unease. Tourists are often confused, out of sorts and out of their familiar routine. A trip that is supposed to be relaxing turns into somewhat of a nightmare and they are stuck with their spouse, or even worse, spouse and kids for a protracted period of time. I see the results of this on the streets of Vancouver constantly and I often laughingly comment:
Me: You guys seem to be having fun.
The Mother: These are the last two days of our vacation – thank goodness!
Me: But you made it out alive.
The Mother: Barely
Miserable people do to have refined manners. The manager of this apartment building is one of the rudest people that walk the face of the universe and everyone puts up with it. I was exiting the elevator yesterday and politely said;
Me: Excuse Me
She: Frown. Grouch, Glare
Me: Being polite doesn’t take a lot of effort – you should try it – its rather fun. (Said in a light hearted jovial way)
The woman about fainted I think – the poor worker trailing her just smiled. The woman just spreads her misery around, that is her and the other tenant’s problem – not mine as that simple comment did bring joy to my heart. One can politely not put up with shit ( a crude term perhaps but an apt one.)
Politeness can be gestures of helpfulness. Some silly hinge on the door of my apartment fell apart. I called the wonderful relator who called Pierre the Handyman and Pierre was to come by and fix it yesterday. Pierre called but was hassled (by a rude person probably) – I graciously said it was not an emergency, as it was possible to get in and out the door. But then a miracle occurred. DDD came to lunch, looked at the fallen hinge, asked for a screw driver and took it off the door. What wonderful manners my new friend DDD has and besides that he brought a wonderful dessert, showed up on time, blew up my inflatable turtle and helped with the dishes afterwards. Our three hour lunch was filled with conversation about the absolute weirdness of Vancouver – he contrasted it with his experiences living in Eastern Canada and my experiences in London and San Francisco were available. Here people are isolated, hassled and lack social skills. They take your number and/or your email and never call. It is impossible to get a social commitment from them – they always have to look at their schedules first (as if they are every doing anything), It is such a relief that such behavior is rampant and not just inflicted upon me. But DDD and I are above it all. We met at VAG, made a date for lunch and we made a date for future lunch in about a month. We both put it in our diaries (as they say in so called Great Britain. But here is the interesting part. I appreciate him MORE because of those other rude people, his manners appear absolutely impeccable in contrast to others that have come to dine, He becomes more precious in contrast.
I often get the absolute best service in restaurants because I am polite. I have spoken about that in a prior email about the Rex Whistler. Restaurant in London, England. A timely article appeared in the August 28, 2018 Marin Independent Journal discussing the rudeness of restaurant customers particularly in corporate restaurants.
“For some people, however bossing around a waiter, waitress or bartender is the closest they ever going to get to actually being in charge of anything, and the people are going to make the most of it. They are the kings and queens of their own little minds, and the corporate restaurant environment often fosters such a belief.”
That is so true and the corporate restaurant in turn heaps disrespect on its customers that our outside the mold – the polite ones. I have been kicked out of restaurants in Vancouver for being polite – seriously that was my only sin. The Mott 32, Bistro Verde, Iron Kitchen, Black and Blue
are some that come to mind. Do I care? Absolutely not because there are many small charming restaurants that welcome me and miss me when I am gone. This is true and I am not even exaggerating. So there! So there! So there!
Pictured are the pastries brought by DDD for lunch yesterday and my inflatable turtle. It was on sale for three dollars and I intend to play with him in the bath. His name is Ralphie.
Pollieness can be both a sword and a shield. When I was insulted on the United flight between An Francisco and Vancouver I retreated into graciousness and politeness. It made me more powerful and made that silly Phillip look rude and silly. But United Airline’s culture allows it . But my attack on their practices must be made when I have the grace to be polite. My aim shall improve and there are other matters which will be addressed. Another malfeasance which occurred in 2015.