Posted by: martinworster | February 12, 2007

27. HAVE FUN!

Having fun! You bet! 

There are a lot of American expressions people here say in
various different situations, all of which loosely carry that
sense of unbridled optimism and positivity that seems to be
common currency here. Expressions like:

You betcha! (all with an expression mark for added emphasis)
Way to go!
Neat!
Swell!
Alrighty!

But my favourite has to be the old chestnut; ‘have fun!’. This
can be used in various different situations and contexts,
normally as a farewell salutation wishing you luck on your next
endeavour. The last time I had it said to me was whilst at Home
Depot when a shop assistant had asked me if I needed help and I
told them I was just looking.

‘Well, have fun,’ they urged with a smile.

I must have looked a bit puzzled. I tried to think back to the
last time I had ‘had fun’ and whether it was it the nuts and
bolts section at Home Depot (like B&Q). I tried doing a silly
walk down the aisle to show them I was really having fun. Did
they laugh? You betcha.

That’s it here, people are really friendly out and about,
sometimes to the point of being annoying. I guess it’s my
Northern European hostility coupled with having lived in
Barcelona for two years surrounded by unfriendly Catalans. People
here always say hi or try to enter in conversations about the
weather or whatever. I always get suspicious. What do they want
from me? I need to engrain in myself the open, obligation-free
friendliness that is the norm out here and stop being a stinking
old curmudgeon.

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