I don’t know how empirical this study is, but here’s the skinny. Reader’s Digest dispatched several undercover reporters in three dozen cities across the world. In each city, the reporters:
- Walked into public buildings 20 times behind people to see if they held open the door.
- Bought small items from 20 stores and recorded whether the sales assistants thanked them.
- Dropped a folder full of papers in 20 busy locations to see if anyone would help collect the scattered contents.
The reporters awarded one point for each positive outcome and nothing for a negative one. The results of this “study” show that the top three most polite cities are New York, Zurich and Toronto. Conversely, Asia fared very poorly. Eight out of nine cities there finished in the bottom 11. Could this be a cultural thing?
The least friendly city? Mumbai, India. They may be rude in Mumbai, but they sure can cook.