Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cultural Blurb: Thank You for Smoking

I think the title "Cultural Blurb" is a little more attractive and funky, no?

To lessen the pains of waiting for Sevilla update, I thought I might tease with a cultural update.

Move aside BU smokers, Madrile├▒os got you beat. 

SO many people smoke here.  And not only do they smoke often, they smoke everywhere. Here on the campus of Aut├│noma, there are signs on the walls, the doors, the chairs, the windows, the tables on how this is a place Smoke-Free environment.  Yet, between classes, I see groups of students hovering near the doors, in corners of the hallways with a thick cloud of blue-grey smoke above their heads.  Yes, they are smoking INSIDE the school building--an unfathomable idea for us Americans.  In America, even if you were to smoke indoors, I think you would smoke with the utmost discretion.  But not here.  One time, we had about a 30 minute break between classes, and during that 30 minutes, this kid takes out a cigarette, closes the classroom door, props open a window, and starts smoking inside the classroom.  I was so taken aback!

But this lack of consideration of rules seems to be common trend here in Spain.  Maybe it's because Spain was governed by a oppressive dictatorship until fairly recently, people don't seem too keen on heavy enforcement of social rules such as prohibition of smoking in public areas.  Then again, this may be a completely inaccurate observation on my part.

P.S. I actually haven't seen Thank You For Smoking. Just remembered hearing that title, and thought I'd borrow it for this post. I'm such a poser. :P

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