• Clotaire Mandel

As important a smile can be.


I wanted to tell a short story. First night in Czech republic. We wake up in a small and cosy campsite, packing everything up to head towards Carlsbad. The boss stops us, it’s beer o’clock. It’s barely 10am, and we won’t leave before 3pm, riding slightly less straight than when we arrived. We aim to pay when he clearly refused. “ Why ? - 15 years ago I went to Paris. I was so amazed and ‘ve been so warmly welcome that I have to give t back now.” All those years while he kept clearly in mind feelings he gleaned in our country. Never underestimate the smallest of our act. Even towards a perfect stranger who don’t share any word in common. He could eventually meet up you grandson in a few decades, and offer him a serious amount of pints. It brings me to the question of our acts and the deep impact it can results from. Of the taste we can leave one someone’s mind, as long as 15 years after. This small manners, habits and gestures we naturally keep alive but who could somehow somewhere hurt somebody. When travelling, we are a representative in many ways. Whatever if we want it or not, with our without diploma. We can represent a country, a continent, a skin colour, a religion. A bunch of things who make us as we are, well, as we look from the outside at least. And whatever we wish it or not, it’s more the image people want to perceive from us who counts. More than our deep and intimate person. The first contact is usually the only one, as we hit the road quit quickly after that. A quick look is enough to pretty much guess where we come from. The continent at least. And sometimes the country, religion or special group a person comes from. But it’s all about the surface, the outside. And link to it, the attitude, smile, gestures, voice tone. And we paths are just crossing each other, it’s this impression who could influence somebody for a life time. Mostly in remote places where tourists are not the usual daily package. They don’t see often people from Estonia or Luxembourg for exemple. Those ones will instantly turn to be the lucky ambassadors of their whole country, as they could never see anyone else coming fro there. I guess it’s important to be aware of this. The aware of what we cary at anytime, everywhere. And when you’re about to lost patience or lose your smile, think twice. Think that your son could come around in a couple of decades, and your smile could turn in a future into a bunch of beers when they’ll go across the world. This is clearly the most exhausting part of the journey. Trying to be in an equal mood, in a good mood. Dealing with the daily issues with a permanent smile. It’s hard to keep telling your story 100 times a day, shaking hands, explaining that you want to be alone, forget about any kind of privacy. Dealing with people with an equal respect from the first dawn hours till dusk. And people say i’m not patient ? ;)

A story a day :

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