"Eastern modes of salutation are not unfrequently so prolonged
as to become wearisome and a positive waste of time. The
profusely polite Arab asks so many questions after your health,
your happiness, your welfare, your house, and other things, that
a person ignorant of the habits of the country would imagine
there must be some secret ailment or mysterious sorrow
oppressing you, which you wished to conceal, so as to spare the
feelings of a dear, sympathizing friend, but which he, in the
depth of his anxiety, would desire to hear of. I have often
listened to these prolonged salutations in the house, the
street, and the highway, and not unfrequently I have experienced
their tedious monotony, and I have bitterly lamented useless
waste of time" (Porter, Through Samaria, etc.). The work on
which the disciples were sent forth was one of urgency, which
left no time for empty compliments and prolonged greetings (Luke