Friday, August 03, 2012

The USA versus Israel, Cultural Differences

A few years ago, when I was visiting the states and on my way, by bus, to see relatives in New Jersey, I was chastised by the driver for talking in my cell phone.  He told me that it's forbidden to talk at all.  I was in trouble because I had to inform my husband's uncle about where I was and get information on where to get off to be picked up by him. 

The instructions I had been given was to call when I got going for the most accurate time estimation.  It's not that I had been having a long conversation, not at all.  Israeli bus passengers frequently talk and talk and shout and say the most personal things when sitting on buses.  Israelis are also sometimes give the impression that they're certifiably insane, walking around holding animated discussions with themselves. At least that's how it looks to others, when we can't easily see the earphone and microphones.

I didn't see too much of that during my recent visit to the states.  The longest, loudest and most animated one-sided discussion I did observe was davka a young man jabbering in American accented Hebrew, no surprise.

Americans seem to like their quiet.  I noticed quite a few of these, and similar, signs:


Pesky Settler said...

I WISH we had quiet buses/trains... people playing their music either without earphones altogether or so loud, you can hear it despite the earphones, and when you ask them to lower it or shut it off, more often than not (especially when it's a teenager) they ignore you at best or argue with you... and the driver does nothing.

Jennifer in MamaLand said...

Wow! It's nothing like Israel here, but we don't really have anything like that sign and you couldn't make people shut up on their cell phones no matter how polite folks think Canadians are.
Come to think of it, we do still have a few old "Quiet - Hospital" signs lingering in a few neighbourhoods. I've always thought those were weird - like honking was going to interfere with surgery or something.

Batya said...

Jennifer, I guess the "Quiet - Hospital" signs are to hear ambulances better.

Pesky, I've heard bus drivers asking people sitting nearby to stop talking, because it annoyed him.

Mrs. S. said...

Welcome home!

Batya said...