I once, in what now feels like a previous lifetime, did some research into some linguistic devices referred to as 'politeness strategies'. These devices have nothing to do with what is normally understood as politeness and thus I'll spare you the joy of hearing more about them (trust me, you would just skip the explanation).
I will however let you in on one of the things that makes me love Africa.
She looks you in the eyes and smiles a genuine smile. "Hello, how are you today ma'am?"
Who is she?
She is the hotel cleaning lady in the morning. She is the waitress in the bar. She is the cashier in the supermarket. She is the woman passing you in the hallway. She is the parking attendant at the market. She is is the beggar at the traffic lights. She is the woman sitting at the next table at breakfast.
He smiles with all of his teeth flashing and makes to help you with your bag.
Who is he?
He is the groom from the wedding party in the restaurant. He is the guy sweeping at the entrance way. He is the man walking towards his car at the parking lot. He is the man fixing the elevator. He is the man trying to sell you a carved table.
I do love a good smile and wish the rest of the world did too. And I have finally learnt to ask the all important question and actually listen to the answer too.
I have decided to be in a fabulous mood today.
Bear with me.
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1 year ago