Etiquette, one aspect of decorum, is a code that governs the expectations of social behavior, according to the conventionalnorm within a society, social class, or group. Usually unwritten, it may be codified in written form.

Modern etiquette instructs people to greet friends and acquaintances with warmth and respect, refrain from insults and prying curiosity, offer hospitality equally and generously to guests, wear clothing suited to the occasion, contribute to conversations without dominating them, offer assistance to those in need, eat neatly and quietly, avoid disturbing others with unnecessary noise, follow the established rules of an organization upon becoming a member, arrive promptly when expected, comfort the bereaved, and respond to invitations promptly. (Wikipedia).

Well, well. In ideal world, people should have known general etiquette by themselves. Cross culture, ethnic background and religion, I believe everybody holds the same basic, principal social rules, one example is by saying thank you. When others do us a favor, no matter how big or small it is, we should thank them. Sometimes this small gesture (but has a big impact) is neglected, especially in today’s world where everybody tends to be more individual, rude, and in rush. Sometimes people think it is normal to get help from others, and don’t realize that others actually must sacrifice time (maybe more) to do them a favor. It doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small, when we get helped, we should say thank you, should we? I mean, if you say thank you to a waiter who brings your meal to the table, shouldn’t it be obvious to say thank you to the people whose house you stay in? This gesture can be translated from by verbally say thank you, send thank you card (I usually do this), or send thank you card with a thank you gift (very Martha Stewart, if you do this, people will love you!).

Second simple gesture is by saying sorry. If we have an appointment and turn up late, instead of making excuse that there was an elephant on the middle of Sudirman that stopped the traffic, why not simply apologize for being late. Of course the boundary of tolerance is different from one person to another. I once watched my friend must wait for another friend being late for 3 hours and she’s just cool. While if I’m late for hair appointment with my hairstylist in Umode, I keep updating them my whereabouts and make sure that I wouldn’t be later than 30 minutes. I usually do that when meeting with the girls, sending texts like ‘ok, in asia afrika now, very macet, will be in plaza senayan in 15 minutes’, and then update them again ‘already at traffic light’, then ‘already at security checkpoint, now about to find parking spot’. I’m sure the girls were bored with me sending them updates like that, but actually it shows how guilty I was for being late (see my story in ‘Oh Indonesia, Oh Valet’, how nervous I was, knowing Tamara had been waiting for me for 20 minutes). Others though, have no shame telling people that they are ‘on their way to the meeting point’ while actually they’re not.

Back to etiquette. I just realize that in one way, I really look into people’s character by their etiquette. For example, once I was pissed off because my boyfriend got invited to a wedding and the bride&groom forgot that he actually had a steady partner (worse, they actually know me too, even came to our barbeque parties several times! Read my story in Overdue Wejaculation, June 2006). It doesn’t matter when my boyfriend tried hard to explain that when he’s invited, I got invited too. To me, the invite showed that they were ignorant, or just simply lazy. That’s why I really appreciated when Grace and Melly got married (not to each other!), they took an effort to ask Stuart’s full name and make sure that his name was printed correctly on the invitation. Or Jenny, she always brought souvenirs when visiting me and staying with me for several days. Simple gesture, big impact!

Oh well, it’s past midnight here, which means it’s already 6AM in Indonesia and my bodyclock is still not correctly working.

Off to beddy!
Oh, thank you for reading my gibberish and sorry I’ve just wasted your time reading a very not-important stuff………


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