Recently I ran into two new arrivals to our city who proclaimed that 'Torontonians are Not friendly'.
This statement made in earnest was enough to wake me up from my lazy break from the blog world, because I was aghast when I heard it.
"What do you mean?"
"I thought you are from Atlanta! Are you telling me that Atlanta is a friendlier city than Toronto?!" etc so ran my retort.
Looking back on my reaction I wonder if it was due to the Descartes effect of the popular phrase 'Toronto is a friendly city' i.e. We Torontonians think we are a friendly bunch so we must be a friendly.
But are we really friendly?
What, in fact, decides the 'friendly-factor' of a city?
-friendly chats with random strangers?
-All of the above?
Are the criterion dependent on the size of the city? Most likely. So lets only look at big cities as I'm generally biased against small cities. They are great on a road trip/day trip but really how can one live in a place with one theatre?
Nyway.... Yes its true that people living in big cities do not smile. But here is a good reason Why. Its because 'Walking around with a smile on your face' generally gets the following reactions-
-butt pinched (or 'felt up')
-impromptu declarations of love
-close encounters from the homeless/crazy/druggy on the lines of "I'm homeless, wanna take me home?"
That is why everyone has learned to walk with a look of furious concentration of 'ohmygawd I'm late' . So excuse us for not smiling all the time.....We are smiling deep down.
Big cities are not generous. Most wondering artist, struggling visa student will tell you this. It is true unfortunately. It is however hasty to assume random acts of generosity do not occur in big cities. It might be small but I've been given generous directions ("You are standing on Bloor Street, miss", said with a straight face), allowed to board buses without the exact change and even drawn in chats with people standing in a queue about things other than the weather. People have been more than generous-with their time and money.
And Torontonians DO have an open mind...just take a walk down our 'Gayvillage'.
I don't know guys...... I think we are 'Friendly enough'! no? err....or atleast...no no definitely... 'Friendlier' than NY?! Oh yes. For sure.
Oh then, why do the Vancouverites(is that a term?) hate us so?