Beach escape, day five – country vs city

minnie waterToday we headed off for a day trip after reading about the above spot called Minnie Water in a tourist guide last night. It was nice but we all agreed we preferred where we were staying.

Along the way back we stopped twice, once for lunch and another time for petrol.

Both times, we were met with a decidedly unfriendly attitude from the staff. Not overtly rude, just not warm or welcoming. These are towns with less than a thousand population.

You’ll agree, I’m sure, that there is a bit of a theory that country folk are friendlier than city folk. It seems that’s not a hard and fast rule, after all, we’re city folk, but we’re pretty friendly 😉

Just goes to show, it doesn’t really matter where you are, but it does matter who you are. And that’s the big difference.

Oh and just because it was cool and the main excitement for the day once we returned to our beloved Shark Bay rock pools, here’s a picture of the urchin we found. It was as big as my palm – I know that because I picked it up!

urchin

 

8 thoughts on “Beach escape, day five – country vs city

  1. At least the urchin was friendly!

    It is the people, not the place, though it wasn’t always thus. Not many decades ago people who lived in small towns had to be adaptable, and get along with those around them…because that’s all there was. Get along, or be alone, and not many can tolerate that kind of loneliness.

    In the city it was, and is different, simply because of the larger population. Unpleasant people could find other unpleasant people to make mutually miserable.

    But now…more efficient transport and the Internet give those in small towns the illusion that they need not be neighborly, and that they can thrive with the same degree of rudeness as their brethren in the city.

    And thus did misery and a sense of disconnection come to the heretofore kindly country folk. A shame, and a loss.

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    • Yes, there seems to be a general feeling of grudgingness in some towns, even though we are giving them trade. And you are so right, it’s a shame and a loss. I find people in our city to be, on the most part, very friendly and warm but maybe I’m just biased 😉

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  2. I know what you mean about city vs. country folk. Just because it’s a small town, doesn’t mean everyone is a friendly sort. I’m still getting the “you’re not from around here, are you?” No, I’m not, but I’m a fabulous person, if you can get over my “accent.” Some people sort of write me off because I didn’t go to their hometown high school. Ah well…still have a lot of friends and friendly contacts in the area. I think the pictures you posted earlier of your Shark Bay are fabulous. I’d love to see a beach like that – most of the beaches in the U.S. are crowded (like sardines) in the summer season.

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    • It’s interesting, isn’t it? I try to be friendly, no matter where I go 🙂 We lived in a small town for seven years – still weren’t considered local when we left. Most were friendly but it certainly wasn’t a given just because we were in a small town.

      And in regards to the lack of crowds on the beach…that’s why we love it too! It has only just tipped over into spring though, so I imagine in summer it would be more populated than it is right now – which is why we don’t come in the summer! 🙂

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  3. I agree that who you are matters more than where you’re from, but I’ve spent the past dozen years studying this very issue. In that time, I’ve lived in a resort area a bit over an hour’s drive from a large city (Chicago, IL). In the off season, my town’s population is about 400. We all know one another. In the summer, it swells to over 2,000.

    My wife and I walk every day and, as a rule, we speak to everyone we encounter, or at the very least wave hello. We’ve always noticed that when the Chicago people arrive, they not only do not speak or wave, they purposefully avoid making eye contact. Often, when we offer a hello, it’s returned with silence or a scowl (“I don’t know you – why are you talking to me? Grrr ). In the early summer, we always have to remind ourselves that it’s just “urban conditioning.” These folks have been walking the city streets daily, through mobs of people, many trying to sell them something, have them sign a petition, panhandle, etc. They condition themselves to avoid human contact. Sort of odd, that in the teeming masses, that connection is perhaps more difficult (and potentially dangerous). Anyway, many of these “contact-avoiders” warm up. After several days of being on holiday, they tend to offer back a nod, and some finally return a wave. We keep trying, regardless. But then they go back to the city, and the process starts all over again.

    Having said that, I have seen small town folk wary of outsiders. There tends to be a bit of an inferiority complex, I think. When they see obvious urban types, they make the assumption they will be viewed as yokels (is that a term known down under?), or coarse/unrefined. I’ve found that that defensiveness tends to evaporate fairly quickly.

    Interesting topic. And great pics this week! Keep having a wonderful time, Susannah!

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    • Good points, Vaughn 🙂 And I think that’s true, city folk are more accosted in the street and have learnt to not give too much eye contact, so may need to ‘warm up’. If someone is smiling and friendly as a customer in a small town, though, that would indicate that there is no superiority and surely should help the country folk feel at ease…?
      I think, though, that the basic tenet is that nice people are nice wherever they are, and the others…aren’t 😉

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  4. We lived in crowded Southern California for several years, then a less crowded town on the coast and now live in a tiny town in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. When we came here, I was called out on my “unfriendliness” and even my “rudeness” for not nodding or waving or speaking to people that I passed. Most of my life, that behavior had been a matter of respecting a person’s privacy, not intruding into their personal space…not a matter of unfriendliness.

    I’ve noticed something else here, and in my husband’s hometown which is even smaller in a more rural area: if people have lived in one place all their lives, have gone to school with everybody their own age, they have not had to learn how to judge strangers. There are no strangers. If they don’t know somebody, they know somebody who does…”that’s Gerry’s brother from California and his wife. He was in the class with So-and-so.” When they encounter us “outsiders” (we’ve been here only 13 years), they have no point of reference for us and don’t really know how to respond. Not everyone is that way, but many are.

    I don’t think they mean to be rude to us, any more than my lack of response was meant to be rude. It’s just Country Mouse vs City Mouse.

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    • Such an interesting perspective (like Vaughn’s 🙂 ) It wasn’t so much that there was no nodding or waving…some do, some don’t, and that’s cool…it was more the shop owners, people you would think would be happy to have the business. Where we are staying though, everyone is extremely friendly…and it makes such a lovely difference 🙂

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