Re: Across Cultures

Subject: Re: Across Cultures
From: Vicki Rosenzweig <murphy!acmcr!vr -at- UUNET -dot- UU -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 1994 10:58:17 EST

This isn't a racial difficulty, but an ethnic one. A few
years ago, I was at a science fiction convention with someone
I knew slightly (and a bunch of other people) who was from
the midwest. We went to my room to share a joint (because I
was suffering from menstrual cramps, and I figured that would
relieve them, which it did). Almost as soon as we sat down,
he turned on the television. After about ten or fifteen minutes
of him channel-flipping, a bit of smoke, and some desultory
conversation, I suggested we wander out in search of othter
people to talk to. He didn't argue, but I found out later that
he was annoyed because he thought I didn't like him and just
wanted the joint. In his part of the country (Wisconsin),
they were/are in the habit of turning the television on and
using it as the spark for conversation. In my social circles,
watching tv is something that is done either in lieu of
anything more interesting (say, after a long day at work) or
if there's something specific people want to watch, so I took
his immediate reaching for the tv and channel-surfing as a
sign that he wasn't particularly interested in talking to me,
for whatever reason (but liked me enough to be willing to
share a joint if I needed it for medical reasons). We eventually
sorted this out, but it took a while, in part because we each
thought that the other was bored with our company.


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