I got to admit that as much as I love my mommy, she is embarrassing sometimes. The people of Cuenca are very well mannered and my mom... well, what can I say? Mom's excuse is that she was born in Venezuela and that she has not spoken Spanish day in and day out for 30 + years... that's a long, long time in doggie years, and also a sorry excuse.
See, sometimes mom says: "Buenas" omitting the "dias" or the "tardes." Invariably people respond with the proper way according to the time of day: "buenos dias" in the morning and "buenas tardes" in the afternoon... We have been here a month and she still can't get that right! Or worse yet, she can also be quite casual saying: "Hola" and "Chao." Here in Cuenca both of these greetings are obviously to be used only when you have familiarity with a person, like when you are saluting a friend. She especially uses these familiar and causal greetings with children; but kids here are extremely polite and respectful and they deserve the same treatment back.
I also think that mom believes that a smile takes the place of the "Buenos dias/tardes". She is this type A personality who tends to follow the order of "shoot, aim, ready." Most days she's brought back to the more logical order when Cuencanos look at her right in the eye, ignore her question (which she shoots right after the smile) and say to her 'Buenos dias/tardes". Put in her place, she has to regroup, respond to the greeting, and then and only then, ask her question.
I wish mom was more like me. I don't just approach other dogs and start licking their faces or barking at them. I know that there are some bad mannered dogs that do the barking thing on sight, but I'm polite, like a Cuencana, and always greet first. I go sniff the dog's behind and then invite it to play. That's the way to do it. Greetings first, and then we can get down to business. If I could only get mom to learn!