Every once in a while I need to use the blog as a way to vent. Well, today and tomorrow seem like a good time to let off some steam since I don't have my computer to upload pictures with.
There are plenty of things in Hanoi that piss me off but recently two things have taken the cake. Today I want to ramble about smoking.
One of my claims to fame in life is that I've never smoked a cigarette. I'm pretty damn proud of this; admittedly probably more so than I should be. When I moved to California I couldn't have been happier when the state changed the public smoking laws. No longer did I need to come home from a bar and shower because I smelled like an ashtray. No longer did I need to excuse myself from a group conversation because one of the people was blowing smoke in my face. No longer did I need to break close friends' cigarettes and obnoxiously tell them that "smoking isn't good for your health."
In Vietnam you can smoke everywhere. Seriously everywhere. That's a fact. Think of a place that you think you can't smoke in...go ahead, think of the one place you would think nobody in their right mind would smoke in...go on...keep thinking...
...Okay, hopefully you said, "A HOSPITAL!". Nobody would smoke in a hospital, right? Well, in Vietnam they do. Last week I went to a hospital two times to see Huyen's grandmother who just had foot surgery. In her room -- which had eleven total patients -- there was one fifty something year old guy and his friends who kept on smoking cigarettes. The first time they lit up I think I said out loud, "Are you fucking kidding me?!" But no, they weren't kidding. They were smoking away despite a few "No Smoking" signs in the room.
The only thing that makes me madder than people smoking in a communal hospital room is when I see fathers smoking while holding their babies. This is a regular sight around Hanoi and always makes me shake my head. I mean, sure, you smoke. But can't you put down your baby first and then enjoy a cigarette?
On a final smoking note, I am always a little surprised when I see the personal trainers at my gym standing outside puffing away on cigarettes.
So this blog goes out to all the men in Vietnam: Stop Smoking!...especially around elderly women in hospitals and while holding your babies.