I struggled at times to understand why my son wanted to move to Salou in Spain. ‘It is full of tourists.’ I said and burgers and chips. I am not entirely right, it does have a beautiful beach, it is close to Barcelona and the sunsets are spectacular. My daughter has bought me a Fitbit for my birthday, she was worried about my health so following my excessive walking in Barcelona, I gathered I should keep it up and enjoy some Autumn sunshine and walk the promenade. I am feeling happy and decide to go in search of smiling faces. I had read a post that morning on social media that smiling makes you healthy so here goes.
Salou is a great place to walk and observe, I admit a little short on stunning architecture but I guess I had already had my fill in Barcelona.
Checking my fitbit, I decide to learn a little about what my heart rate is doing. I have been walking every day, at least twice as much as I would normally achieve, so I am surprised to see that it had risen on the graph substantially last week, in fact last Thursday which was the day I was painting Graffiti with Yuri in Barcelona. That was a really great day. I remember laughing a lot with excitement. I was, being creative and in my element. My heart beat races and I am not even walking. Goes to show, we must all get excited from time to time and that it is good for our health.
So back to Salou and why I needed to search for some smiling faces. I had started the day by listening to my daughter on the telephone rant because I had changed her bus ticket. Calm down I advised her, which is the worst thing you can say to somebody intent on making a mountain out of a molehill. She, unlike me has to have a firm plan. After listening to her for ten gruelling minutes, I took myself off to clear the noise that had been created in my head. I decided to walk the 45-minute trek and risk the approaching rain, in search of a restaurant that did not serve chips and have a smoke-filled terrace. (I’m a non-smoker and we are the worst) Looking forward and feeling positive about the possibility I thought I would play the game of – Let’s see who will smile back at me? (I hope I do not get arrested for weird behaviour) So, this is what happens when you just smile at people.
Man cycling towards me……….no response
Man, in Farmacia…………no response
Couple pushing a pushchair…… no chance
Japanese tourist………. nearly
Little old Spanish man with a stick (I even winked at him) ………. a slight twitch from the corner of his mouth.
Waiter ……… almost, until I asked if they had wifi.
I guess Salou is not smiling today, maybe it is an end of season thing but I am not so sure. There is an underlying epidemic of misery doom and gloom and I refuse to catch it. I have not been arrested yet for making weird facial expressions at complete strangers, I am not sure you can be fined for that. I give up the stupid game and find a restaurant on the sea front, I can now enjoy tucking in to chicken soup, the wind is blowing and the sea is grey. There is seventies music playing on the radio, the happiest music of all times and if I look closely there is a cloud smiling at me from up there. The waiter who reluctantly huffs at having to walk back into the bar to get me a wifi code walks funny because his trousers are too tight, he needs the extra exercise so I refuse to apologise. I feel good, even if nobody has smiled at me. My flight is booked to Thailand along with accommodation for half the amount of my budget and in search of more art I have come up with an idea to go and paint an elephant in India. Now that sounds like a plan I would like to make.
My next stop is London though to see my daughter and I know the no smiling epidemic is rife there, and people like to moan a lot. They do not know they do it so you can be forgiving. I think bananas can help ward off the virus before it takes over the whole world. These travel ideas make you see the funny side of life. I have plenty of reasons to smile. If you have no reason then just make one up. If nothing else it will make your heart pump faster.