Friendly to Strangers?

This is a bit of a hobby-horse for me but I'm convinced that in general the way a resident - anywhere - reacts to a visiting stranger depends on the number of previous such contacts which turned out badly. It is not some innate quality of the place and the people.

Therefore I'm annoyed by statements saying that the people of x are friendly but that those of y are not - implying that all the people of y are flawed in some sense.

Often it's all a matter of manner & timing of approach anyway. Given the right circumstances, you'll find the people of y just as friendly as x.

Thus in a remote villege, with few visitors and in particular no loutish ones, the residents may seem welcoming as they've had few bad experiences with visitors.

For instance, in a place like Cambridge, with millions of visitors, both pleasant and unpleasant, each year, each resident has a good chance of having unfortunate encounters, which then colours future behaviour. Being a mecca for beggars also doesn't help.

Since coming up with this idea in 1990/1, I've heard variants of it from others.

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