Smiling World

It’s our third day here in Kuta, in this wonderful hotel and truly enjoying our time here.  That’s because of the gym, a very large selections of breakfast buffet, the wonderful pool at the roof top, great service and very good food.  It exceeded our expectations.  We are planning to extend our stay here.  The location is also nice, not so much of that tourist craze like Kuta center.

The staffs are smiling all the time and greets us.  Now, everyone smiles everywhere we go in Indonesia however, it’s really weird because in all our travels in Asia you get to the point where you know what is a sincere smile and what is not.  This hotel we are staying most likely pays their employees higher than our last hotel.  It is also a very well-known hotel chain world-wide and in Indonesia, Best Western I found out have high class star compared to the Best Westerns in the US.  Cleaning the hotel rooms are on time, also very thorough and there is a crew that actually double checks the room after it’s been cleaned as quality check.  Every staff speaks English.

In traveling to Asia, I really like the smiles of the locals who are not dependent on tourism as their livelihood.  The farmers, the rug makers, local restaurant staffs and small business owners. The happiest people I have encountered in our travels this year is Leh, Ladakh India.  A predominantly Buddhist community and their culture is still rich, almost untouched.  The smiles I see on the small foot paths are beautiful.  “Julley!” a fun greeting.  Local folks tend their garden and wear traditional robes.  It’s really heaven on earth.  The people are very loving and peaceful.  I truly love Leh, Ladakh India.  Happiness is not defined by wealth but faith and tradition.

The smile is such a powerful language.  I always smile everywhere I go.  It’s important for me to say thank you at all times.  I always keep in mind that how I treat people is a reflection of who I am.  A reflection of how I was brought up by my parents.  It is also how I see at myself.

Some smiles are sad smiles.  I’ve seen them after the earthquake in Nepal.  The second earthquake that hit, I ran to an open grass area outside the hotel and was terrified yet I smiled at the people around me.  A smile of care.  Everyone in that small spot were all the same people as nature’s powerful force brought us together.

The smiles at the market in Ubud from the little old ladies selling local snacks were very beautiful.  They all remind me of my grandmother.  Their faces lit up when I purchased the local drink, Jamu.  The smile of being surprised of how a foreigner would try something so local.  It’s like the laughter and smiles Doug gets from the Vietnamese ladies at the market when he gets foods they never thought a westerner would eat.

Children smile with truth.  They have the most honest smiles.  Their smiles render through their eyes as well.  There is a connection between smile and eyes.

Smiles on the trails are also fun specially in really beautiful days.  The energy of the people we’ve met on the trails in Chamonix was exciting.  Hikers smile and say “Bonjour” even in the toughest, steeps sections of the climb.  Smiles of happiness hiking the trails. Runners on the race smile expressing their proud feeling of challenging themselves in the race.  Also, the smile of relief after a really long and steep climb!

I will never forget all the smiles in the Manali-Khardungla mountain bike race!  Beautiful people smiling while riding their bikes, even on tough stages.  Even in tough times, a good smile makes everything all right.  A smile can build many friendships.

Smiling is such a simple language, so easy to do, so beautiful, anyone can do it, everyone is free to do it and so powerful in making the world a better place.

Doug has been smiling so much lately…I love it!

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