So I was thinking one of the weirdest parts about being in another country is all the little things that are different...
I always used to phrase requests as "Can I please..." (or, in the case of an obsessive East Maddington Primary School librarian "May I please..." - if you asked if you could go to the toilet, he would stop, look at you and say "Well, it's between you and God whether you can or not..." Then he'd wait til you either a) got the message and used the word may or b) peed your pants. Awesome guy.)
Anyway, my original point was: everyone says "Please can I have..." instead of "Can I please have..." Because it's a slightly unfamiliar phrase, I noticed it more, and that made it seem like such a rote-learned rule rather than true courtesy.
But then I realised that courtesy is probably mostly made up of stock phrases and rules, at least in the beginning. I don't know how many times during my childhood I rolled out a thank-you-for-having-me or takk-fyrir-mig without really thinking about it. You really do need to be taught specific rules for manners at first, and it's only later that your courtesy comes from actually thinking of others... Or does it?
Okay, so as a point, it's kind of pointless, but these are the things I think about. Also, wow, I'm rad at debating myself on small issues. I could keep going and going, arguing one side then the other, but I'm sure it'd get tiring after a while. Maybe it's already tiring! Sorry!
More later, maybe it will be less pointless - at first I wanted to say more pointful? More pointed? Pointier? Razor sharp, even.