Monday, May 7, 2012

Universal Currency

Smiles:  Internationally accepted and recognised the world over, regardless of language barriers and the availability of a working ATM or Western Union branch.  The value of a smile will not fluctuate at the mercy of global economic scares or due to changes in the price of a barrel of oil.  You don't need to stash a smile in your socks or even consider wearing one of those highly questionable money belts, in fact they weigh nothing and take up no space in your bag.  Smile and at the very least you will get a smile back in return, and probably a great deal of goodwill and kindness to boot.  A smile won't buy you material trappings beyond your immediate needs, but they are solid currency for a more worthwhile experience.  Always pack a smile.
  • Top image:  Exchanging meticals for a bunch of bananas and a smile for a smile, Mozambique.
  • Middle image:  When shooting portraits of people in traditional dress, particularly if you can't speak the language, I find that a smile will often be of great help.  Asakusa Temple, Tokyo.
  • Bottom image:  Kids seem to have few opinions and preconceptions about other people and will usually react to a smile, a wave and a toot of the car horn with laughter and big friendly waves.  If I remember rightly these kids persuaded their Dad to do a lap of the block to come around for a second round.  Al Ashkharah, Oman.  Used previously to demonstrate the benefits of smiling in the Ten Tips To Take With You post.

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