Originally Posted by Chelsea Spy
Visitors to London, including many English people (especially from oop North where people are friendlier) always make this complaint. You have to understand that making eye contact in London is an act of aggression! It's very rude. We respect each other's privacy and private space by not looking at each other and generally pretending we're not all crammed together in some overcrowded tube or bus. It's all about studied indifference and tolerance
Thanks for clearing that up. I'm not saying its bad or good, just very different and seems sort of disconnected or cold. I know that the Japanesse and a few other Asian cultures are like this as well.
I expect people not to really stare or make much eye contact on the trains. It was the same in Paris, and this is a common practice in the USA big cities as well. What I did think was odd is when someone enters or exit and still not one person even glance to see who's around. In Paris this is when I noticed many eyes looked up or even look at you in the window as they walk along the platform exiting.
When I mentioned this to my British friend who grew up in London, he laughed about it. He and his sister said, they to in fact look around, but are usually very quick and decreet about it.
Anyway I find it interesting studying people as they go about their daily lives, and both Paris and London are good cities to observe. It was just something that I noticed was quite different between the French and the British. I guess we americans have something in common like the French, we usually people watch, and look to see who's around us in public. As you are probably aware its part of our culture as americans, we are always taught its polite to make eye contact, and of men to give good firm handshakes when we meet people.