Saturday morning, I was having brunch at Le Pain Quotidien, and overheard a couple (that seemed to be on a date) discussing hamburger figures. Except for Ronald McDonald, they managed to name countless more that had been representing various hamburgers during their childhood and adolescent. I tuned out in the middle of a lengthy description of some female cheeseburger character (it isn’t polite to eavesdrop anyway!) and focused instead on my Romanian grammar. About 20 minutes later, I looked up from my book again, and guess what the couple was discussing? Burger meals! If the topic had lasted for 20 minutes, I cannot say, but all of a sudden I agreed with P about the intellectual level of conversations here.
When I was out with P and A this Friday, P (who had been to Europe for a month) started complaining about the superficial conversations of Americans. (And yes, P himself is American.) I know what he means. I am also often missing the more analytical discussions that I so often had in Europe. I have however thought that I have been a bit unfortunate with the people I have met (except for P of course!), or that it is just the way you have a conversation here. I.e. that it is not polite to discuss so much and that it should be kept to a more casual level.