Small town friendliness and politeness

sunset from the train #67 Montreal to TorontoI am just going to say it outright “I love small towns”. Why? Well, for the simple reason people are friendly and polite. Having just returned from visiting middle child and the teenage boy who attend university in Lennoxville, Quebec, I found people said “good morning and how are you”. If you are about to cross the street where there is no crosswalk or stoplight, cars and trucks stop immediately. When I left my motel yesterday, I asked the owner if he could call me a cab. After asking where I was going, he went on to say, he was just about to run some errands in town, so he would drive me to the bus station.

I live in Hamilton, Ontario an absolutely beautiful city, “the City of Waterfalls“, but on friendliness and politeness we still need some work. My husband walks to and from work, up and down the Jolley Cut. He is always full of smiles and good mornings but he finds most people have their heads to the ground, or their ear buds in, ignoring the world around them. When he does say good morning, people are surprised. Now not all of them are surprised, there are the regulars who are friendly. In regards to crossing the street, I wouldn’t try it, unless you are at a crosswalk or stoplight, because chances are slim cars and trucks will stop for you.

When I returned from Quebec yesterday, one of my stops was in Toronto, Ontario where I had to catch a connecting bus to Hamilton. I probably picked the wrong day to return home, because there was a hockey game and a baseball game last night, thus Union Station was a complete and utter madhouse plus the streets around the station are under construction. Trying to find the correct signage or someone to assist me in the correct direction was near impossible. At first I thought I was going the right way, as two friendly drunks people decided they would help me by carrying my luggage down a flight of stairs, only I wasn’t suppose to go that way. I managed to take back my suitcase from them, and then realized I had to walk up another flight of stairs. With all the people around, you would think, that maybe someone would offer to help the pretty lady up the stairs but no, so there I was with a ridiculous heavy knapsack on my back, purse around my neck, cane in my right hand and suitcase in my left. One stair at a time, with the help of my foot, I kicked my suitcase up the stairs, far too many stairs. I finally made it outside, where the streets are wooden planks instead of concrete, thus pulling my suitcase was even harder. As I tried to lift the suitcase off the curb, two not so friendly people started laughing and making fun of me. Enough said, I don’t like Toronto.

I made my connecting bus, arrived safely in Hamilton, where my best friend, who had driven in from Ancaster, took me up the mountain and home. This was exceptionally grand of her, especially since it was after 11 o’clock at night and she had to work the next day (hubby was on night-shift, else he would have been there). Upon entering my house I was greeting by a yapping beagle who sounded more like a yelping seal than a dog and a bouquet of lovely flowers from my husband. The day had ended well.

Cocoa with a slice of toast

My bouquet of flowers
Cocoa our beagle Flowers from my husband

9 Replies to “Small town friendliness and politeness”

  1. Small towns have quite a charm. I have always lived in them until I moved clear across the world to New York. People were friendly and helpful but the nosey also live in small towns. I think a measure of small town community should be everywhere. I miss that sense of belonging but not the nosey neighbour across the back fence :). Thanks for visiting and commenting on my misfortune…

    1. I do love the small town charm, and I miss that from the different trips I have taken to Quebec and Nova Scotia. It would be nice to experience it where I live but neighbourhoods are different now, people don’t seem to want to communicate, they are far too busy with their lives. It is rare to see people out on their porches and kids playing on the street.

      Thank you also for visiting my blog.

  2. Sounds like a lovely trip, as well as a fun homecoming. 🙂 I grew up in a town with between 700 and 1000 people at any given time. It was in the mountains, and easily isolated by mudslides and snow. It was friendly, mostly, but people are so darn nosy! It was also very lonely. I suspect the arrival of the internet fixed that nicely, though.

    1. It was a lovely trip! I guess it all comes down to perspective in some cases, nosiness vs friendliness. I would prefer to live in the country or a small town, I like the quietness, the slow pace of life. Though, does that type of place even exist?

  3. While I generally agree that smaller towns tend to have friendlier people it is not always the case. I’ve had some of that small town politeness happen in big cities too. The last time I was in New York I was standing at the top of a set of stairs in the metro with my bag and within seconds had someone offer to take it down the steps for me. I politely declined as I wasn’t going that way but the gesture wasn’t lost on me. Londoners are thought to be rude but I often find people (men) let me on the train or bus ahead of them or hold the door. Maybe it is the fact that I don’t ever expect it and so note when it happens. Toronto is a great city and those idiots shouldn’t ruin your impression of it, they probably weren’t even from the city.

    1. There is small town politeness in large cities, it just doesn’t seem to happen as often. I think one of the problems with larger cities, is everyone always seems to be in such a rush. In my own hometown, of Hamilton, I am generally let on the bus first, and a seat is usually given to me, but many times I have had to ask the bus driver to lower the bus because it is far too large of a step for me. I have found both in Lennoxville, Quebec and Truro, Nova Scotia, cars stop when you want to cross the street but I would never try that on a busy street in Hamilton or Toronto. Again, everyone is rushing from point A to B.

    1. I actually was packed lightly, I’m not suppose to carry anything at all which is the problem.

      As for Hamilton being a small town, not anymore with a population of over 500,000, but with your emphasis on “is”, I’m thinking you are not referring to population.

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