One of the reasons I love traveling so much is that it gives me a chance to see what life is like in the rest of the world. Unlike what some of my friends think, New York is not the be-all end-all of life in the States.
Last week I traveled to Nashville on business and immediately after I arrived, I was greeted with Southern hospitality. The cab driver gave me his umbrella when a rare snowstorm blanketed the area. The hotel valet staff helped me up the slippery stairs with chivalry. A front desk employee held my umbrella as I searched for my credit card.
In restaurants, waitstaff greeted me with a smile rather than throwing a basket of lukewarm bread on the table without so much as a "good evening" (yes, I'm talking about a common occurrence in New York restaurants).
In the South, people have...manners. They're friendly; they're helpful. And they're patient. Nearly the entire state of Tennessee shut down because of the snow; traffic was backed up for miles and miles downtown and on the Interstate. Not one honking horn. People just seemed to make the best of it.
And the nightlife. Food and drinks were cheap and plentiful. The fun country-western bars had no cover charges and the music was great. I even danced with a cowboy.
In spite of the snow and freezing temperatures, people were in a good mood. And it was contagious. It put me in a good mood. Can't wait to go back.