L O S = Land Of Smokers
I’ve recently came to the conclusion that L O S is not the Land Of Smiles as it's so commonly known, but more The Land Of Smokers! “How do you come to this profound statement” I hear you ask. Well ok, here’s what I think.. I live in the UK, Australia, and Thailand on an equal time in any year. The UK has a no smoking policy in its bars, as has Australia, and indeed Thailand.
The laws in the UK and Australia are well enforced, and heavy fines are given to any establishments flouting the laws, but Thailand seems to have its own regulations, namely how much the bar gives the police to ignore the situation.
This became apparent to me the other day as I was enjoying an afternoon beer at the Biergarten on soi 7. I often call in to meet friends or see if there are any new new faces looking for a customer. So I’m sitting on a bar stool and some guy sits next to me and lights up a cigarette. Not once did he ask me if I minded that he lit up, and blew smoke in my face. As it happened, one of the “boys in brown” who comes in every day for his free lunch (read bribe), was sitting nearby and didn’t say a word, and totally ignored the other 20+ customers smoking in the bar despite the no smoking signs plastered all over the bar.
Since then, over the next few days I did a bit of a survey, at the Biergarten there are about 70% of the male customers who smoke, based on customers / smoking customers (I did the calculations).
Now I figure that a large proportion of these people read Stickman Bangkok so if you’re reading this, you may well be in this 70% +, great!! I just want you to know what gives you the right to sit next to me, light up your foul cigarette without asking me if I mind having your cancer causing smog polluting my air. Seriously!! What makes you think it’s acceptable to make me breathe in your toxins?
By the way, if you are a smoker and have read this far, WELL DONE!! Shame you can’t read the warning labels on your cigarette packages…
I did take the time to ask one of the staff why it’s ok for people to smoke in the bar even thought its illegal, her response was, “Yes, cannot smoke in bar in Thailand but this bar OK” and smiled.
So I got to thinking, smokers don’t care about anyone but themselves, and whether they cause any other person discomfort, or medical conditions, so I have written an ODE TO SMOKERS, again if you are a smoker and have got this far, WELL DONE.. This
is what the rest of humanity thinks of you…
AN ODE TO SMOKERS
Smokers… you have a pleasure, you pleasure is smoking cigarettes
The residue of your pleasure is smoke,
This smoke pollutes the air I breathe,
Putrefies my clothing, and causes cancer in my lungs,
All this takes place without my permission.
I too have a pleasure,
I like to drink a beer or two,
The residue of my pleasures is urine,
Would you like it if I stood on a table and pissed on you?
I guess not eh?
In case you’re wondering what an ode is, an ode is a poem that is written for an occasion or on a particular subject. They are usually dignified and more serious as a form than other forms of poetry. Unfortunately, today's society has distinctly less respect for propriety, morality, and dignity. Modern odes include sarcastic poems about various subjects, and hence this particular ode.
All you smokers, don’t think it's ok to spread your cancer on people who don’t want it. If you sit down in a bar, ask the person next to you if he minds that you blow toxins in his face. Do the right thing, some of us don’t want to die young!
And for any non smokers who feel the same, and I’m sure there are many, say something to that cancer causing person sitting next to you even if he is built like a brick shithouse with tattoos from head to toe. You don’t need to put up with it, and if you are one of those blokes built like a brick shithouse blowing smoke on everyone and thinks it's ok.. Shame on you, have some respect and ask “do you mind if I blow smoke in your face?’
I'm a non-smoker. In fact I have never had a puff in my life. I do however feel that people have the right to smoke if they so desire.
In Bangkok, the non-smoking policy is enforced in 90% of venues. As a non-smoker, I simply don't patronise those venues that allow smoking. You soon work out which venues are which.
In Pattaya it is rather different and it is only a very small number of venues where the non-smoking policy is enforced.