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First day of classes turns out to be not so bad. All worries were in vain.

View of Boston and the Prudential from the Charles

My professors are quiet but amiable. There are familiar faces in every classroom now. I see familiar faces on the streets too, and we stop and greet each other.  I walk about the same streets (before they have become completely covered in ice and snow) and rediscover the beautiful views of Boston, a city that pleasantly reminds me of Europe and of home.

I even started signing up for fun classes and applying for fun positions. But more about them later.

Something very typical of here and not so typical of home is the chance to make small talk with clerks and cashiers and to walk out of it with a smile on your face. Back home, shop-sellers and waitresses are not trained to say “Hello” and “How are you?,” so it is easy for them to bring the negative thoughts from their persoanl lives into the work place. The result is that sometimes you turn out begging someone to sell shampoo or feeling guilty for asking for more water. Not always, but sometimes, employees from the service business back home are impossible to talk to like we talk to with the Boston ones. 

Working ethics here are different. Although [usually foreigners] will argue that this several-minute interaction is simply part of someone’s working duties (aka little bit fake), it never fails to charge me with positive energy.  I know they “have to” be polite, but I usually initiate and expand the conversation. Thus, I can see through their “working smile.” And I usually receive many and sincere smiles in return for breaking their routine and making them feel more interesting than their job.  In short, I had two wonderful talks with the lady at the fitness center window and the man who helped me at the bank, and they made  my first day back in Boston quite pleasant.

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January 2010

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