At the bottom of the page in my week-to-view diary there is a little printed quote. This week it’s a quote by the American humorist Scott Adams. He says:
“Smile. It confuses people.”
This caused me to remember when I first moved up here to Suffolk from London. I would walk to the shops and people would smile at me and wish me good morning. I had never been on the receiving end of such bonhomie from perfect strangers before! I was definitely confused, but by the time I had lived here a year or so I was doing the same to other people I met. There is always a lot of smiling and nodding when Suffolk folk are out for a walk.
Before a friend of ours sold it, Sam and I used to stay in a flat at Canary Wharf whenever we visited London. One weekend away we decided to do the Suffolk thing and walk along the riverbank and smile at passers-by. Like two genial gargoyles we grimaced and grinned for a good half an hour, but for a start we couldn’t even get anybody to look us in the eye, let alone return the smile! People deliberately looked away and hurried off. A sad sign of the times methinks.
Do you smile at strangers as you go about your daily business? It doesn’t hurt, and up here in Suffolk it’s expected. I’m rather glad I live here actually!