Smoke-Ban Gets Some Parisians Fuming....literally.
Big news: starting today, smoking is "en principe" (in principle) banned from all public places....HOWEVER, this excludes bars, restaurants and nightclubs.....and even though you're not supposed to smoke in the metro, airport, hospital etc, people do it anyways.
So basically nothing will change until next year, when they actually start enforcing the law and when cigarette smoke will be banned from restaurants and bars and clubs also.
Smoking here has a completely different meaning than in the States. In my opinion, smoking is a dirty habit that smells and is unattractive....here, however, I think it looks "cool...." and I can't even believe I'm saying that. People have a cigarette here as if it's an accessory to their outfit. Despite the smell that permeates everything and stays for days, I find myself almost...ALMOST...wishing that I smoked. Interestingly enough, on every package of cigarettes, a HUGE label says "SMOKING KILLS" in French. Could you imagine the cigarette lobby in the U.S. allowing that bold statement? We have a rather subtle "health warning..."
My friend who is also studying abroad here told me the other day that a woman who was asked to put our her cigarette in a non-smoking restaurant went off at the waitress saying that France was becoming totalitarian and that it was her RIGHT to be able to smoke.....to which I would have replied if I were there......your RIGHT is killing me also! Second-hand smoke is WORSE than smoking a cigarette yourself.
Other news: I am sick. I was very lucky to get an appointment for tomorrow with an english-speaking doctor who has a special relationship with my program....It's strange not having mom or grandma nearby and able to bring me home-made soup...I spent today in bed watching Pride and Prejudice on my laptop and drinking an unmentionable amount of hot tea.
More updates later!
at 2:54 PM