There is so much to say about what I have experienced and I'm finding it difficult to put into words.
I've learned so much about different cultural norms, laws, customs and every day things. Out of all the things that I've learned the one thing that never fails me is a smile.
A simple smile goes much farther than knowing how to cross the busy street or knowing how to bargain prices for fruit. No matter how menacing a person may look or how hard they're staring at your skin or your hair a simple smile seems to change everything.
When I first figured this out I was baffled. It was so simple, but at first I didn't get it. People would stare at me menacingly as if I were some kind of alien and it was rather frightening. I decided to ignore it with the thought that people would stop looking at me weird. The looks continued and they didn't even try to hide it. They would sometimes just stop right in front of me and stare. I got tired of it and just decided to smile. Thats when everything changed. Everyone started smiling back a wide mouthed ,ear to ear, teeth baring grin.
Now whenever I'm in a situation where someone looks menacing or the simply don't look too friendly I just smile. I think we all should. Maybe you'll get a smile back and maybe you wont. Don't underestimate the power of a smile. 🙂