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All cultures have set phrases for greeting. No doubt, you have been taught to say, `How are you?` when you greet an English speaker, and to reply with,`Fine, thanks` when someone greets you, but the set phrases differ across cultuers. Although it is common in Chinese to greets people with,`How are you?` it is more common to say, `Have you eaten?` or `Where are you going?` The `Where are you going?` greeting can irritate some people, even though the greeter is just being polite in recognizing your presence by offering a greeting. For example, when I was a student at a university in Shanghai, I had to go to the shower block in order to take a shower. This was a special building, a bath house, where all the showers were. It was pretty easy to tell if someone was going to the shower block. They would be wearing special shower slippers, carrying a large plastic bowl with a bar of soap in it, and have a towel draped around their necks. So when I walked to the shower block and people used to greet me with, `Where are you going?` I often felt like (reply) `Where do you think Iam going to with my slippers, bowl, soap and towel? Make a guess.`


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全ての文化には、挨拶のための決まり文句があります。きっと、英語を話す人にあいさつする時は、"How are you?" (お元気ですか?)と言い、誰かがあなたにあいさつした時には、"Fine, thanks." (元気です、どうも。)と返事する様に教えられたことでしょう、しかし、きまり文句は、文化によって異なります。中国語では、「お元気ですか?」と人々に挨拶するのが一般的ですが、「もう食事はすみましたか?」や「どこへ行くのですか?」と言うのがより一般的です。「どこへ行くのですか?」と言う挨拶は、その挨拶をする人は、あなたの存在を認めて挨拶を述べることでただ礼儀正しくしようとしているだけなのですが、人をいらいらさせる場合があります。例えば、私が、上海の大学に留学していた時、シャワーを浴びるためには、シャワー区画に行かなければなりませんでした。これは、浴室棟と言う特別な建物で、そこに全てのシャワーがありました。誰かが、シャワー区画に行こうとしているのを判断するのは簡単でした。彼らは、特別なシャワー用のスリッパを履き、石鹸を入れた大きなプラスチックの桶を提げて、首からタオルをぶら下げていたからです。それで、私が、シャワー区画に歩いて行き、人々が、私に挨拶するために「どこへ行くのですか?」とよく問いかけてくると、私は、しばしば、「スリッパを履いて、桶と、石鹸と、タオルを提げて、私が、どこへ行くと思いますか?当ててごらん。」と返事したい様な気になりました。 ☆ (reply) ⇒ (replying)



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