I was in the United States recently. And even though I have lived in the USA for years in the past, somehow after living in Berlin for 3 years, visiting the USA again gave me some culture shock. In this case, I was surprised at the amount of shouting that happens in public.
I am not talking about the shouting that happens during arguments that simply happens in public. I am not talking about the cases where it should be a private conversation but it unfortunately happens in public. I am talking more about the cases where one is in a service environment, say you’re ordering food at a counter, and you need to place your order to the person behind the counter. I was getting some coffee in multiple places, and I was surprised how much the person behind the counter shouted at me.
“HI SIR, CAN I START A COFFEE FOR YOU?!?!?!?!”
“GOOD MORNING WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE?!?!?!!”
I find it cognitively dissonant, to be hearing these sentences, containing polite words such as greetings and requests, and yet they were all delivered in a shouting and monotone manner. It definitely didn’t match.
Do Americans really think that louder is better? Or am I just being Germanized, since Germans tend to like and value public silence a lot? Whichever it is, I realize that I like quiet more than loud, and I have to constantly remind myself that these Americans aren’t being impolite to me, they just don’t know how to talk quietly.