In ‘Simons’ having breakfast this morning and I started off by sitting at a wee table with a socket next to it, so that I could recharge my computer once the battery ran low. Now, the restuarant is quite big and the place was quite empty and I was, therefore, a trifle irritated when two guys came in and sat down right beside me; an irritation, which grew when one of them placed a packet of cigarretes on the table in front of him. The packet of cigarretes was soon opened, I moved to a table a bit further away and it was, all in all, hardly dramatic. Nevertheless, a point has to be made!
The fact that my privacy is being invaded would never dawn on this chap and why would or rather could it? A big chunk of my adult life has been spent in bars and cafes and, although now it is completely unacceptable to smoke in most places in Western Europe, that has not always been the case and for a long, long time I accepted cigarrete smoke as natural consequence of socialising. That has changed in most countries in the European Union and I can actually imagine a day in the not too distant futures when people will say things like, “do you remember when people used to smoke in bars?” However, the smoking is only a part of the problem.

As I said, the cafe is practically empty and it is not even as if there was not a comfy couch available for them elsewhere, so why, why, why, did they have to sit right next to me? Well, I suppose even there, there has to be an excuse of sorts for the whole concept of space and privacy is something quite different in China from what it is in the west. Indeed, the guy who was smoking has, in the time it has taken me to write this post, revealed himself as a chain smoker and it appears that his mate doesn’t smoke at all. Neither of them seem particularly aware of the fact that someones privacy is being invaded, which, naturally, means that nobody’s privacy is in actual fact being invaded; apart, of course, mine!
The picture above is from inside the cafe after I had moved my laptop. The guy at the front of the picture in the black tshirt is a chain smoker, his mate doesn’t smoke, the wee round table is where I was sitting and where my laptop is, is where I am now sitting.


About sanculottist

There are a lot of poor bastards out there being used and abused; it is just not cricket "old bean". Something tells me that ignorance is not bliss, but is, in fact, simply ignorance and in the global village we cannot look the other way.
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