A popular trivia category a few years ago was “Dead or Canadian?” The rules were pretty simple, someone would say the name of a celebrity and you had to guess if they were dead, or if they were Canadian. A variation of this game could be “Russian or Teenager.” As soon as you show a camera to either group their smiles are gone faster than a free bag of potato chips at a Grateful Dead concert. Take Jake, to the left, for example. He is almost 14, and he has not smiled for a picture in about 2 years. Most Russians don’t smile for photos either, which is strange because Russians generally smile a lot, just not for pictures. Take Vladimir Lenin, the granite statue above Jake. He is not smiling in this photo either, which makes sense because he was Russian. To be fair, he probably had a lot on his mind at the time. Anyway, I’ve often wondered how every Russian knows that I am an American, and I think it is the smile. Americans smile all the time. I was in line at the grocery store once, and the clerk never looked at me until I was right in front of her. When it came my turn, she glanced up at me for about a second, and then said in perfect English, “Oh, hello. Do you need a bag?” I bet it was the smile.
Posted in Dave/Ann Blog.