Whenever I'm feeling a bit low and I just need to smile, all I need to do is drive into the Bahrain City Centre (shopping mall) carpark and drive out. Yes, you've read me correctly - simply drive in and drive straight out. (This exercise interspersed by a spot of retail therapy will make me smile a little more broadly, but honestly, I'm a woman with simple needs).
So what exactly am I on about? Let me introduce you to the City Centre Guy. He's like a kind of traffic control person who stands at the level one exit of the mall carpark - and control traffic he does...with a whole lot of enthusiasm! This guy really does pour his heart into what he does... standing in scorching conditions, he just keeps smiling - and with a casual salute and very rehearsed wave of the hand, he makes you want to keep smiling too. You may not be able to picture this, so you can check him out yourself on this Youtube video put together by one of his many fans (but to be honest, I don't think it does him justice!):
On his way to becoming something of a local icon, this guy (named Gulzar Ahmed, formerly a corporal in the Pakistan army) even has a Facebook fanpage dedicated to him! Can you believe, he already has 7000+ fans! (That's almost 4500 more than the clothing label Zara has on Fb but far, far less than Vegemite's 100,000+ fans - If you want to find him on Facebook, just look up 'City Centre Guy'). With this fan club, he's even made headline news:
Below is a link to another article about him that recently appeared in a local publication. Mr City Centre definitely gives new meaning to 'service with a smile'.