If you have been following Calypso Island Chronicles, you know how much I detest cigarette smoke. Fortunately in California where I currently reside, all restaurants and bars prohibit cigarette smoking. Hooray!
However in many other countries, the laws pertaining to smoking in public places are either nonexistent or less restrictive, so as a traveler, a lot of times, I just have to grin and bear it because let’s face it, many of my fellow travelers - especially from Europe - are dyed-in-the wool smokers.
To illustrate my resolve against cigarette smoke (and smokers), I would like to share a recent experience at the Canton Airport in CHINA. I had a long layover for my continuing flight to Guilin, so I decided to hang out at one of the airport cafes at that offered free WIFI. Sitting myself down at a table in the nonsmoking section, I observed much to chagrin that there were a number of patrons smoking including middle aged Indian couple two tables away.
When I told the couple that this section of the café was nonsmoking – pointing to the nonsmoking sign on the far wall - and that out of consideration they should either stop smoking or to move to the smoking section of the café, the lady got very upset. She told me a very angry tone – it’s not her problem but the management’s as she continued to smoke away.
After digesting her response, I called the young waitress over, and explained to her that this was a nonsmoking section and suggested that she should either enforce the rules or take down the sign. Although her understanding of English was not 100%, she definitely understood me. After some considerable hesitation, she went to all the smoking patrons – including the Indian couple - and advised them to either stop smoking or go to the café’s smoking section
Shortly thereafter, there was a mass exodus of all the smokers – about 7 people in all including the Indian lady. As she left, she gave me a very nasty look as if I was the villain in this situation. Smiling, I responded by saying “Have a Good Day”, satisfied with my triumph!