In China the four most common questions I answered when meeting someone new were "How old are you?" "What's your marital status?" "How much do you make?" and "What's your rent?" I actually found the later extremely helpful, because being fresh out of school I really didn't have much of an understanding of what things cost. So when I got back to the U.S. I traded on my reputation for being blunt, honest and nonjudgmental to ask people these very questions. Most were actually happy to answer and I ended up getting a great understanding of what it takes to live well in different parts of the U.S.