I came to this country with my family as a teenager. In the Old Country, when someone asked you how you were, they expected an actual answer. So, predictably, each one of us did our best to answer the question all these nice people were asking-- "how are you?" -- in our broken English, with our heavy accents. Do you know how hard it is to accomplish that when your vocabulary is rather limited and you also have to remember to put each word in a correct place in a sentence? Right. This probably explains why none of us turned out to be quick learners on this-- I think we mistook the questioner's discomfort for working hard to understand us.
I don't remember who finally clued us in to the fact that nobody expects you to actually answer, but I do remember feeling disappointed and vaguely betrayed by the discovery.
The only caveat being that it wasn't quite all of us-- my sister Adelynne (thanks for coming up with your own pseudonym, btw-- less work for me :)) wasn't old enough to be affected by this particular drama. So, to use a fancy psychology term, our schema were shattered, while hers wasn't. Which is probably why she can, as she described in her comment on the first post, decide to answer completely truthfully at all times, thus consciously messing with people who were just going about their daily routine.
Me? I think my poor old schema can't take another remodeling job. Instead, I live in two worlds. When asked in the Old Country language, I almost always answer truthfully, although not always completely or at length. When asked in English, I gut check to see whether this is a social nicety or an actual question. So you see, sometimes with me "Ok" is an actual answer, and sometimes it is the quickest way out.