So the other day I went to a Pho Vietnamese restaurant with 3 of my friends, one is Pakistani, one is Mexican and the other is Japanese. The place was full and the only table available was for 7-8 people. A few minutes after we sat down, 2 Caucasian girls walked in and were waiting for a table. The 4 of us thought that we don’t mind if they share the table with us, so my friend who is Mexican walked over and asked them if they wanted to sit with us, they rejected her offer. She was offended, to the point that when we saw other people waiting for tables, she said “I would offer them to sit with us but I don’t want to be rejected again.”

To us this was offensive but thinking about it later I realized that depending on where those girls were from they may have thought it would be offensive to accept since they might be disrupting our privacy. My friend who spoke to them said that she felt that they were both Mediterranean. The next day I was thinking about it, and realized that actually in many cultures including my own, it is rude to accept an offer immediately after it is given to you. You basically have to be asked a few times to say yes, otherwise it seems too eager and impolite.

So from now on I will always remember not to be offended in this situation and be sure to offer a second time. This was an eye opening experience for me and I hope you can learn from it through me. So remember for next time, they are not rude they just might be from a different culture.

Stay polite!

Mahsa

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