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What is the right answer of 'How is it there?' I mean I don't know If I should talk about the weather or politics. For example -Where are you from? +Holland -Oh, how is it there? +...

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    It depends on whom you're talking to.
    – deadrat
    Jan 3, 2016 at 13:57
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    Give them a weather report.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 3, 2016 at 15:01
  • Just say, “It’s nice.” and then tell them something about Holland that you would say if you were trying to convince them to move there. Unless, of course, you hate it and want them to know you hate it. Then say, “It’s terrible.” and tell them why.
    – Jim
    Jan 4, 2016 at 4:26

4 Answers 4

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"How is it there?" sort of suggests you update the questioner on some recent, highly publicised event. For example, if you were French Parisian, and someone asked this question a few weeks ago, you might describe the mood after the attacks.

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It means "How are things / What are things like there regarding X?", or maybe "To what extent does X exist there?", so naturally it is used in reference to some previously broached topic - X. If we'd already been talking about public trust in corporate-establishment-owned media in the UK for a while and then I mentioned I was Italian, say, the question "How is it there?" means: "How much public trust in corporate-establishment-owned media is there in Italy?"

If the questioner asked the Q right after finding out where you're from with no other reference, it'd be an oddly general question, and would mean "What's LIFE like there?", and, as someone has noted, could be answered with a sharp "How is WHAT there?", otherwise a general answer about life is given: eg "Things are pretty good, nice countryside and coast, but not so many jobs and too much rain!"

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I might first pause to give thanks that a more metaphysically charged question such as, "Why is it there?" wasn't asked. Generalities about climate, standard of living, etc. would seem to suffice. It's reasonable for persons to look suspiciously on over-precise responses to mere pleasantries.

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Perhaps try a response in the form of a whistlestop tour of a broad array of topics, until you stumble across a topic which interests both of you sufficiently to stimulate more conversation. E.g. its great, everyone is really friendly, the weather is great, but the food is awful...

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