Recall my morning-walk greeting story from Charleston. About 100% of folks responded to my "Good morning" with a nod, and often an extended "Good morning. Nice day" of their own. Exercising my perverse streak, I decided to replicate the experiment in Georgetown. (Hey, when I was growing up, D.C. was effectively a Southern town.) Well, you can more or less guess the result. Old guy drenched in sweat wearing a ratty old T-shirt that says "U.S. Navy Retired." My "clientele"? Mostly self-important (forgive the editorialization) Gen-Xers on their way to Capitol Hill to bask in said self-importance while running the Xerox machine. No, not fair! Actually, people of all ages and economic strata. The result: 23 attempts on my part. Two responses, which requires stretch in one case. (My, I'd think, non-threatening "approach": "Good morning!"—a little chirpy, and with a practiced smile. (Practiced from my many for-profit "Grip and grins" at trade shows.) Oh well ...
(Alas, if I'd experimented in Moscow I'd probably have been locked up for the very act of smiling.)
Anyway, good morning!