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.