In this instance, as is so often the case throughout the world where language may be a barrier, a smile was a universal method of positive communication.
A year or so ago, whilst spending one of my frequent moments pondering life and it's meaning, I decided that although I may naturally and subconsciously tend to smile at people whenever I should see them on the street, be them known to me or otherwise: I would, from that point on, for the sake of myself and others- make a conscious effort to smile at everyone that I meet or pass everyday in the hope of spreading this expression of positivity and warmth with such a simple act that requires such minimal physical effort.
I have noticed the consequence of this decision, to be that I have felt happier and brighter and more positive of spirit myself, as well as finding that this simple contraction of facial muscles, has initiated interesting conversations with people that should I not have smiled at them, I may never had met.
This is wonderful for me as I LOVE meeting people of every kind and I particularly like talking to people who are as different to me as possible, be that in occupation, background or character to myself.
London has been particularly wonderful for this pastime of mine, as contrary to the thoughts of country bumpkins such as myself, I have found this city to be an extremely friendly place to live. Having a dog is also a huge factor, that combined with a simple smile, can lead to meeting some wonderfully warm and fascinating people.
Naturally, the fabric of life means that we are all different in our likes and dislikes and in our general characters: therefore, some people may perceive a crazy girl whizzing along the pavement towards them in her super-speedy-wheelchair grinning like a Cheshire cat, to be a little odd- whilst others, (who may perhaps find this situation a little less loopy), may simply just not have time or the inclination to talk.
I sometimes find that the wheelchair element of this scenario can well make some people I pass, conspicuously pop in their earphones, look at the floor and stride more purposefully past me with increased speed.
I think that this uncomfortable reaction of some, may well be a factor of why I now tend to smile at strangers more, as in my opinion, this makes those who are bizarrely extremely awkward about having interaction with someone such as I with a disability, perhaps feel, (after they have awkwardly scuttled past me), that I am indeed a real person who has emotions and is not necessarily unable to have communication just because I am sat in a chair.