In Russia you’re not supposed to smile at strangers. You will be considered if not stupid, then at least a bit simple. Intelligent people look into the distance and keep their mouth still. Even in western Europe people seem somewhat surprised when they see someone smiling. I’m happy today, it feels like some things are starting to get sorted and I’m surrounded by great people. Besides, the sun is shining, things are going well for my family and the energy is bubbling inside me. In other words, I have every reason in the world to smile. When I came back from my lunch break earlier, the secretary downstairs gave me a worried look and asked if it was my birthday because I was smiling so much. “No, things aren’t that bad*", I told him, “it’s just being a very nice day”.
*Birthdays are very bad indeed when you are facing an x-something-crisis. I'd rather smile because it's a good day than because I'm getting older.