I was recently at an event where I got chatting to an American man (I'm in the UK), and he mentioned that he didn't like how people here don't talk to each other as much as he is used to (N.B. I am aware that this is very
regional, I have been to NYC
To this end, he strikes up conversations in pubs, on train platforms, etc, etc. I jokingly said to him, "Hey, you'll get deported if you carry on like that. Don't you know that that sort of thing is practically against the law?"
He replied that he didn't care, he thought these interactions brought a little bit of joy into the world, and he would keep on having them.
The problem is that strangers talking to each other is not
a cultural norm in every part of the UK that I have ever lived in (of course, there will be exceptions). I don't mean that people are cold to each other, quite the opposite! But strangers do not typically make small talk with each other. In fact, I (and most people I know) would be made pretty uncomfortable by a stranger talking to me.
This chap reckons he gets away with it because he's American, and everyone knows that Americans are 'like that' (so you guys have a nice ambassador here, that's for sure). He think that it doesn't hurt to try to be friendly.
I think that you don't get to impose your values on other people like that (the caveat being that of course I'm talking about situations where nobody is being hurt or oppressed), and that to try to do so is rude, because you're making others uncomfortable.
Who is right?