« Viktor Frankl -- "What Life Expects from Us" | Main | Vonnegut and Gas »

Jul 06, 2008

"Smiles Everyone, Smiles!"


At first glance, the coconut shell beanie is indistinguishable from the Dave-fro.  But indeed, it's something he found on a northern Utila beach (which may or may not have been Rock Harbor) along with tons of broken shoes and other detritus.

When Dave hopped off the Utila Princess ferry, I forgot to greet him with a "welcome to Fantasy Island.  I am your host, Mr. Roark."  Fortunately, he still managed to catch on to the smile thing and made lots of friends, most of whom he shared with me.  Yay for the smiling coconut beanie head!

A week or two later at a restaurant on the Honduran mainland, I overheard an American guest say this about his attractive-but-never-smiling waitress, "Man, it's like she ate a shit sandwich last week and the taste is still in her mouth."  Though it was rude of him to speak so loudly and crudely of a nearby human being (who he presumed knew only Spanish), I have to admit his description wasn't far off.*

Smiling is an interesting thing.  Filipinos do it all the time.  Koreans not so much.  Americans do it all the time (outside certain cities and regions, anyway).  Russians not so much.  Lonely Planet says this about the Russians:

On a personal level, Russians have a reputation for being dour, depressed and unfriendly.  In fact, most Russians are anything but, yet find constant smiling indicative of idiocy, and ridicule those who constantly display their happiness.

Heh.  One of my uncles is Russian.  I won't say whether he smiles a lot, but I will mention that my dad and I have an itch to visit Russia and to maybe do a river cruise along the Volga.  I've read that Moscow is craaayzee expensive but that other places may be more manageable.  If and when I find out for real, I'll let you know.  Just look to see whether my blog posts from there have me smiling or frowning.


*She smiled once while talking with me -- whether out of good will or amusement at my grammar, I'll never know.

11:45 PM in Traveling | Permalink