Jul 1, 2009

And so it's begun. Or has it?

Greece has officially prohibited smoking in all enclosed spaces and public services starting today the 1st of July 2009.

We Greeks are stubborn SOBs. The fact that someone tells us to NOT smoke doesn't mean we won't.
"What do we care if you are bothered by our smoke? Huh?"
"I don't like your face but I put up with it, do the same with my smoke... "
"Turn away and suck clean air from the other side... "
"Go enjoy your drink/coffee/beverage where people don't smoke..."
"I don't see a no smoking sign anywhere..."
"Make me... "

Embarrassingly, these are some of the excuses I HAVE heard and witnessed over the years if a non-smoker dared to complain to a smoker.

Non-compliance to common sense is the rule in Greece. And rules don't change very quickly here.

We will need about 20 years of conditioning to get the public non-smoking ban through our thick skulls.

Same thing happened with the seat belt law. Drivers in Greece wearing seat belts used to be a very rare sight. Any fellow/gal donning a seat belt was thought of by other drivers as "frightened", ergo a bad driver. It wasn't until the Traffic Police went on fining sprees, writing up non-buckled drivers and passengers. Finally, after many years, drivers and passengers wear their seat belts for fear of being caught without them.

We eventually learn.
At pain of death of our income.

So, until smoking fines commence, I don't expect too much to change.