Wednesday, December 29, 2010

We are all Strangers, We are all Friends

People are not super friendly here. I've talked to a friend from Adelaide, and I think it may be more because this is a big city than being Australia, because it seemed the same way in New York too. I guess when you get so many people together, it just begins to get unmanageable to try and smile or say hello, or acknowledge most people you see, and so you end up just ignoring them.

But, I still believe in friendliness, and a good smile, so I try to smile or say hi as I walk by people, even though most people avoid eye contact.

So today, I was walking home from grocery store, just through the neighborhood where I walk the most, the well-worn path I walk, and I am looking at the people I am passing, seeing who to say hi to or smile at or whatever, and I smile at an Indian-looking man, and he says to me, "Did I see you the other day? Do you live around here?"

So I told him yes that I am staying around here, and I probably did see him the other day. We talked for a second about how people here don't usually say hi or smile, and then we grabbed sodas and talked for a little while.

He just barely moved to Sydney, and sounds like he doesn't really know many people, and he didn't want to talk about family in Australia, because it sounded like it was a hard subject.

It made me think of the other day, when I was walking along, and this lady actually did smile back at me, and it made my day. It was kind of a hard day. I'd always heard people talk about how a smile could make someone's day, and I always thought it was a bit trite, and like, yeah maybe it can be nice, but it's not -that- big of a deal, but then seeing that lady smile at me, I just understood what a smile could do.

And then talking to this guy, it sounds like I got to be that for him another day. Funny how we can affect people without even really knowing it.

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