Once again on the subject of restaurants and smoking. Jeff and I were out by Anděl today and we needed to get a quick bite somewhere. It was a bitterly cold day that took everyone by surprise, us included. We were not dressed for the weather and longed for a warm place to pop in for the half hour we had to spare. We remembered that Káva Káva Káva was basically across the street from where we were and we got all excited at the prospect of pastries and hot coffee.
As soon as we entered the crowded café, we realized that our idealized coffee break was not going to be all that rosy. The place was literally shrouded in cigarette smoke. We looked for the non-smoking room. There was none. We asked a girl at the bar and were sent to an area containing about six tables that had a sign on the wall banning smoking during lunch time starting at 11 a.m. It was 11:30. The “temporary non-smoking section” was just a bit less smoky than the main room, apparently due to the fact that one of the customers was smoking despite the sign and that the area was not in any major way divided from the rest of the interior. It didn’t take long for Jeff to start coughing.
What were two hungry, time pressured and increasingly angry non-smokers to do? We skipped the coffee, had our apple strudel put in a to-go box and ate it on our laps sitting on cold metal chairs outside the café’s front door, shivering with cold. Two girls were already sharing the lone table there. At one point, one of them got up and went inside to use the restroom. When she came out, she uttered to her friend: “God, it’s so smoky in there, my eyes are burning!” I only wished someone could take a picture of us, the “weirdos”, in this ridiculous moment.
Very interesting comments. I went back to my hometown in Wales recently where the Welsh Assembly have brought in a complete smoking ban in public places.
I had several nights out seeing old friends and it was so nice not to inhale any smoke, even nicer not to wake up coughing and have my clothes smelling of Marlboro!
I was in Bulgaria recently and was shocked by the number of smokers there, I wonder if Eastern Europe will ever see smoking bans in force?
Thanks for your comments. 🙂
I certainly hope that smoking bans will eventually make it to all the EU member countries. If these countries don’t come to their senses and introduce the bans on their own, then they should at least be forced by the EU legislation to do so. The sooner, the better.
I hear that the situation is not only bad in Eastern Europe but also for instance in Germany. I was at the Frankfurt airport a few months ago and I was shocked to find that they not only still have a smoking area there but that this area is in no way separated from the rest of the busy terminal. Smokers simply gather around a sign that says “Smoking Area” and puff away, creating a gray, smoky zone that everyone has to pass through on their way to the restaurant or bathroom.
If I’m not mistaken, the Prague airport is completely non-smoking. The Czech Republic also has regulations against smoking in some public places including train stations, bus stops, etc., and I’ve even witnessed them being enforced. At least that’s something.
Thats incredible, most airports I go through these days are all non smoking.
I am just back from beautiful Iceland, they are bringing in a smoking ban on June 1.
I thought this link would be of interest to you Dana
You would never guess I used to be a 40 a day man!
Thanks for the link, it’s a great list.
So you smoked 40 a day and stopped? Wow, good for you.
Those lucky Icelanders! Jeff and I CAN’T WAIT for a full ban to come into effect in the Czech Republic. This smoking thing has become such an annoyance for us that we have almost stopped going to restaurants. We used to eat out a lot, now we cook at home most of the time. It saves us lots of frustration.