“Hello, how are you?,” the border official at the airport security greeted us. We thought she was just being friendly, that our faces exhausted from the long night of travel to the island needed a little pick me up.
We soon found out she wasn’t being particularly polite to just us, but that everyone in Bermuda is polite. “Hello, how are you?” is not just a platitude that rolls out in every greeting, but a genuine wish shared between islanders.
If you think Canadians are polite, you haven’t been to Bermuda.“Hello, how are you?,” the woman greeted the panhandler as she waited for the light to change to cross the street. “I’m trying,” came the reply followed quickly by a request for some spare change. She didn’t offer any change, but she did give him a genuine smile.
“Good afternoon everyone,” the old man declared as he boarded the number 8 Dockyards bus in Somerset. His placed his large golf umbrella and groceries at his feet as he sat near the front.
“Next stop, please,” came the request from the back a few stops later.
“Hi girl,” an elderly lady greeted people as they boarded, everyone a friend.
After a dinner out we were taking a very busy bus back to our guesthouse. As the driver pulled away from a stop, a passenger called out from the rear. “She’s still coming,” was the plea. The driver pulled over and waited for the person to catch up and board. Every other place I’ve ridden a bus, the driver would continue to pull away as you chase after it.
Not in Bermuda.
In fact, NOT being polite in Bermuda can get you in a bit of trouble. Always smile and ask someone how they are. Give them a genuine “Good afternoon!,” “Hello,” or “Thank you,” and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the island’s polite positivity.
“Have a blessed night everyone,” another lady called out as she got off at her stop 20 minutes later. And you could tell she meant it.