Monday, June 05, 2006

Back from vacation

Just returned from a 8-day vacation in Eastern Europe. The trip absolutely met my expectations. One particular experience actually made me appreciate BART. We rode the train in between cities and somehow mistakenly got ticketed to sit in a smoking cart! At first, we thought, well, maybe these passengers won't actually be smoking during the 4-hour ride, but we quickly realized that smoking train means all passengers in the cart WILL chainsmoke, packs after packs. The space was so confined that quickly, I lost my sense of smell. I see lit cigarettes all around me. The heavy smoke filled up the cart.

I take it for granted that California enforces a non-smoking environment in transportation, restuarants, and common areas. Everytime I leave the country, I realize how lucky I am that I don't need to deal with second-hand smoke much in the SF Bay Area. Smokers are like pariahs in the Bay Area, while non-smokers are such in Europe.

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