Winston wrote:Great question. I guess humans are conformist by nature and need to belong to a group or tribe. They do not do well alone unless they are either assholes, really tough, or spiritual people who have a sense of connection with the universe.
America's culture is cliquish. Without a clique, you have no social life or identity. So a clique is your identity outside of work. But I heard that most friendships in the US are acquaintances, not real friends. You can find hang out acquaintances in the US if you work at it.
But it's not exciting because you don't meet and interact with people freely everyday, like you would in Russia or Latin America.
I don't know why the US is so cliquish but many other countries aren't. It's weird.
Also, when you are alone in the US, you feel lonely, isolated and alone. But in other countries, such as Russia or the Philippines, when you are sitting alone, you don't feel alone, because people are cool with talking to strangers and relaxed about it. So you don't feel this barrier that you do in the US.
Over in Thailand I would take the skytrain towards the end of the line where the docks are and you can get on the boats to ride up and down the river... Well, I use to sit by the dock and watch these old men play some kind of Thai chess for hours while eating my fruit! In Thailand I never really felt alone even though I couldn't speak Thai. People were so open and friendly, very willing to go out their way and help me, and I could get laid anytime I wanted.
The only time I was jotted back to Western life is when I would try and talk to a foreigner. None of the Western foreigners were really that friendly with me and two westerners blew me off when I tried to connect with them. I think the backpacker group is the most open western group of people, but they're just too into living "ruff" for my tastes.