For most of my friends it’s hard to believe but I used to be quite shy. When I had to buy a bread I rather went to the supermarket and grab one, than to ask for a bread at a bakery. I remember one day, instead of putting down my money on the counter and run off, I made contact with the cashier. A whole new world opened up to me. If I’ll be nice and open, people open up to me.
Ever since I arrived in Chicago I felt the same kind of shyness as I did when I was younger. I’ve been here five days now and seriously I had only one conversation. It’s like everyone is so caught up in their own lives that they literally don’t even hear me call out to them. Eventually if I ask for help people are willing to help. Unfortunately I get the feeling it’s to fulfill one’s obligations rather than they like to be helpful. As soon I’ve been helped I am ignored. On a few occasions I had a hotbed acting like she’s doing me a big favor just for doing her job.
Believe me I tried. I attempted to make conversation to the woman on the bus stand, the cashier at the Target, the old man behind me in line and so on. Not to brag but making conversation is my second nature and if I can’t make small talk nobody can.
It took me a week to realize why I felt this kind of shyness. Suddenly it occurred to me, it is not me, it’s the standoffish attitude off the Chicagoans toward me.
Does it make them bad people, of course not. It my personal experience and I love to be proven wrong. -Bregje