Saturday, October 16, 2010

Just a Word About Smiling

Do people smile at you on the street where you live?

When we went to Budapest we were told not to smile at people. Really. TJ sat next to a local on the flight from Frankfurt to Budapest, she was a very cute young thing and he seemed very interested in conversing with her....hmmmm should I be worried? Nah, I sat in another row and slept soundly for the entire flight. Anyway, she gave him some valuable information about the city but the most curious information was not to smile at people, "they will think you are a bit loony in the head." Seriously? Must be a hold over from all of that communist repression, the only people who could smile were the crazy ones. As a result, when we were in Budapest I dutifully walked all around town with a serious, unsmiling, look on my face as to not appear loony. I would catch myself similing or wanting to smile at complete strangers and remember her advice and put on my serious face. How sad is that? I am sure there are people in Hungary wondering right now where that loony lady came from and where she has gone.

Tonight I went to our church bazar. I smiled at lots of people and I don't think any of them thought I had lost my marbles. They might have though that I looked like I was having a lot of fun and most of them smiled back. I have definitely noticed that people in the south are much friendlier than people in almost any other place. You really can't appreciate this until you leave and come back. So chalk one up for coming back to the south. Smiles are allowed.

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