Hi! (how are you?) Okay, this might be a bit of a weird question, but I'm gonna ask it anyway. In the US, when you walk up to a counter, cashier, front desk, etc you mostly get the same: 'Hi (or good afternoon, goodmorning, you get it...), how are you?' The question is: are you supposed to answer the question? Us Dutch people are really straight to the point. For example, we walk up to a counter and the person behind it says 'hi' or something like that, you say hi and tell them what you came there for. No 'how are you' or 'how is your day going' etc. I've also heard this type of conversation: Hi, how are you? - Hey, how are you? If you're not even answering the question, why bother to ask it yourself? Bottom line: I don't always get the 'how are you'- etiquette. Should I answer? Should I ask the same? Thanks!