Smiles come free


We have had some awesome moments of joy and laughter on this first leg through Myanmar. Don’t get me wrong, we are hassled by every street vendor, small child selling postcards, men hawking the same 3 paintings that we see everywhere, but we’ve also had some great moments.
Like this morning, we spot a shaggy dog very very slowly crossing the street, in the midst of cars, scooters, bikes and people. He did not care that he was causing traffic chaos, just went about his way like he needed to. When he made it safely across he stopped for a moment, stared at us laughing at him as if to say “what?! You laughing at me?” and then waddled along the road on his way.
Then there was our tour guide, when describing a naturally filtered lake that fed the small village we were visiting, she struggled to describe the rules around using the water. It took her a moment but then she decided to say “No shit, no pee-pee” in terms of people using the water for their own needs.
We’ve had tons of people waving at us from the back of crowded buses, little kids saying “hello” and unbelievably attentive restaurant/hotel staff. Of all the Asian countries I’ve been in that rely on tourism for income, it feels like one of the more genuine places where they want to help, rather than expect something in return. And it’s always with a smile.  Reminds me that smiling is such a beautiful exchange between people and that we need to do it as often as we can.

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