February 27, 2004


(that's "nonsmoker", in English ...)

A few months after I came back from Germany in 2000, Shelby and I went with some friends to Lake Tahoe. While we were there, we stopped at one of the casinos in South Lake Tahoe -- after we came out, everyone else was complaining at length about the smoke -- did you believe how many people were smoking, and how much that place smelled?

My response was "huh? I guess so ... I didn't really notice." I'd gotten so used to public smoking in Germany, that it took months before I began to act like a typical American again, turning up my nose at people smoking in public.

Four years later, there's a lot less public smoking than there used to be (for one thing, the ban against smoking in underground U- and S-Bahn stations is actually enforced), but you can still tell that this isn't California. Last night Shelby and I went out to dinner; once we got back to our nice smoke-free apartment, I got a good whiff of myself and realized that I reeked of smoke. "There were people smoking there, weren't there? I didn't even notice!"

Last time it took me months before I was "immune" to people smoking around me -- this time, it only took me a few weeks. Hopefully this accelerated process doesn't end with me looking down in surprise one day to find a cigarette in my mouth, with no idea how it got there ...

Posted by Kevin at February 27, 2004 09:32 AM