The Spanish don't say good morning. Well, they do, but not like Americans, who say it to everyone as they arrive to work in the morning. "Good morning Sam. Mornin' Joe." The Spanish are pretty surly in the morning and don't really even meet each other's eyes until well after their 10 o'clock coffee break. I learned this the other day while a few coworkers were teasing me a bit about it.
"Why are Americans always so fake and sugary?"
Me: "Huh? We can be, sure, but in what sense?"
"For example, you're always saying 'Good Morning' to everyone in a chipper voice... asking how you are. You don't really care so why bother? Seriously. "
Me: "Uhhh... because it's nice?"
It's amazing the sort of habits and cultural things that are so ingrained you just can't think otherwise. For the past two years here in Spain, I've come in to various offices, gave a big smile (look top left of this page) and say "Good MORNING!" and received less than lukewarm responses. I honestly thought it was just the people I was working with... and would even sometimes think, "Man, I need to switch jobs. These people are jerks." The people I'm working with now are actually pretty cool (and haven't discovered this blog yet, so I'm not just saying that) so it seemed weird.
Anyways, this morning, armed with my newfound knowledge, I only said good morning once or twice (out of pure habit) and as expected no one said it to me. Amazing... you'll never stop learning about a different culture.
I'm still drinking coffee at my desk, I don't care what anyone says.