what happened to smiling?

31 Jan

i love to smile. and i love it when people smile back at me.

it is a universal language, understood everywhere you go.

but when it comes down to smiling, life gets tough in the city of berlin.

berlin, the city of hipsters and cool cats and pretenders and… non-smilers.

i like to smile anytime, but yesterday i felt particularly smiley.

the sky was blue, the birds were singing i had the morning off. everything was good. i decided to do some hot yoga. i haven’t had a proper yoga lesson in a while, so i packed my mat and off i went. (also it feels that doing more yoga is on my preset 2013 schedule – the heavens have already made that desicion for me, i can’t do anything but follow. but that’s another story.)


i arrived there, got my towels from the towel guy at the entrance. yes, there is a guy who doesn’t do anything but handing out towels… we exchanged a smile. nice!

i didn’t know at that time that it was the last smile in a while…

next: ladies changing room.

packed my stuff into a locker, got checked out by several ladies (not in a sexual way, but women tend to check out other women’s bodies in the changing room which is a weird thing… do you ever realize?), i smiled at several fellow work-outers. no smiles.

went to yoga. got a tiny smile from another girl in the yoga class who was sitting on her mat waiting for class to begin.

no smile from the yoga teacher. not one in 1,5 hours.

after class same changing room scenario like before.

then grocery store. 11 encounters with other human beings. one (!) smile.

i went back home afterwards and felt exhausted, i needed a nap.

the day was saved by an early dinner with friends and some genuine smiles and by the studio nightshift full of big smiles due to my crazy co-workers.

i decided to write a smile journal now and write down the best smiles i exchange throughout my days. maybe you are with me? that would be fun.

so i leave you with this reminder: do it. do smile at strangers. at friends. at birds. at dogs. at flowers. at fish. (honestly, i even smile at my coffee, and mr. coffee always smiles back at me. i swear!)





13 Responses to “what happened to smiling?”

  1. Ken Takel 2013/01/31 at 2:38 pm #

    Like Marlene Dietrich sang a few decades ago in “Das ist Berlin”: If you slip, nobody cares but if you fall down you get sincere applause (or something like that)… :0)

    Berlin, Berlin, hier lebt der Mensch gefährlich
    und rutscht er aus, dann dreht sich keiner um
    Doch haut er hin, dann ist er der Beifall ehrlich

    • julia 2013/01/31 at 3:17 pm #

      honestly, NOW i have a big smile on my face. yes, i know what you mean, and exactly something like that has happened to me before. i fell, but they didn’t applaude… i think people just thought i was drunk or something.

      well, we all love the “Berliner Ruppigkeit”, don’t we.

      but nevertheless: let’s smile on 😉

  2. hellomissnana 2013/01/31 at 5:22 pm #

    dear friend julia…purple hair forever friend….dear love, dear friend with the prettiest smile ever….i follow you in your smiling war of life….its hard in this pretty messed up city…but we´ll find strangers. friends. birds. dogs. flowers. fish. and lo´s of coffeeeeeeeee….. i am in girl……seee right know i am smiling….and by the way i woke up with a smile wich spend the whole day with me…and maybe it will get some friends later….(but this is another story) LUV U

    • julia 2013/01/31 at 5:53 pm #

      my wonderful amazing girlfriend nana! thinking of YOU makes me always smile. and you are a true heart opener too. when people see you (and your cute dimple) they have to smile automatically. you are the mother of all smiles. yes, and not only a normal mother. you are the MILF of all smiles 😀
      love you from here to uranus. wherever that is.

      • hellomissnana 2013/02/01 at 8:36 am #

        now i do more than smiling…i do my deep and nasty laugh from down of my heart….love yoooouuuuuu lat´s go to the uranus right now!!!

  3. Kate (@shoegirlinDE) 2013/01/31 at 6:52 pm #

    I’ve heard many American expats here comment on this (as well German staring) and take it as a lack of friendliness, but coming from California, I really don’t find it all that bad. Our neighborhood there was full of staring, non-smilers. Sure, not everyone in Germany is all smiles, but I get enough in our town that I don’t feel like a total American freak for smiling at strangers. It will be interesting to see how that goes once we move to Berlin though… Here’s hoping I cross paths with you so we can exchange smiles!

    • julia 2013/01/31 at 11:30 pm #

      i believe that smilers attract other smilers, so we should cross paths! and if we don’t::: you know where to find me. give me a shout out and we’ll have a smile/coffee/gettogether 🙂

  4. tina berlinanadalina 2013/01/31 at 10:58 pm #

    oh, i read this and i really know how you feel. i went running today and every time another runner is passing or a dog is crossing i smile at them.. no smile back! ggrr.. on such days without sunshine who else than we ourselves have to be the shining smiling sun! ❤ smile on, julia! i will smile back! :*

    • julia 2013/01/31 at 11:32 pm #

      so happy to hear that i’m not the only person who
      a) feels like that and
      b) isn’t afraid to have her official smile coming out 🙂
      i’m looking forward to see your smile in RL one day and till then:: let’s shine on together*

  5. Maggie 2013/02/01 at 7:40 pm #

    Wegen dieses Beitrags bin ich gestern eine U-Bahnstation zu weit gefahren und durfte dann zurück gehen. *gg* So vertieft war ich und ich werde mir Deine Worte zu Herzen nehmen und auch mehr lächeln. =) Und ich hoffe, dass wir es auch bald mit einem gemeinsamen Lächeln hinbekommen. ;-*

    • julia 2013/02/01 at 10:29 pm #

      oh nein! das tut mir leid mit dem zuweitfahren… aber ich find’s auch ein bisschen cool (wegen des gefesseltseins und so 🙂 )
      ja, ich freu mich auf’s gemeinsame lächeln im RL und bis dahin: smile on*

  6. teamgloria 2013/02/02 at 3:41 pm #

    We are smiling at you Right Now from all the way across the sea and land and almost to the other sea (hazy recollection of Actual geography)!


    And waving. natürlich

    • julia 2013/02/02 at 4:21 pm #

      oh, teamgloria, du bist so wunderbar ❤
      i can see your smile, i can feel your smile and i'm smiling back!
      (is it true that people smile A LOT in california??)
      xxx j.

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