I can’t breathe!

You know when you’re going about your life minding your own business and then something happens that starts a whole string of thoughts in your head and you just can’t think straight after that?

Well, that happened to me yesterday… and now it’s on my mind, so I’ll write about it and see what you think…

Underage puffs..

I was at a ‘well-known’ supermarket yesterday, standing at the checkout counter waiting for my turn.  All of a sudden I hear the cashier at the next counter asking her colleague (quite loudly), “this guy wants to buy a pack of cigarettes and he’s not 18 yet, should I sell it to him?”  I was so interested in the reply that I quickly snapped out my ‘daydream-supermarket-state’ and paid close attention.  The ladies were laughing and the kid who wanted to buy the cigarettes had a guilty smirk on his face (I guess he must have been 17).  Back and forth, back and forth, and a few minutes of ‘checking ID’, etc…. then, I see the lady handing him the cigarette pack and saying while smiling: “you can have your cigarettes – don’t get upset”.

Now, I know it’s completely none of my business, but I found myself getting really disappointed.  I thought, if every person bends the rules a little bit, what direction are we moving in?  I was annoyed that these ladies were not doing their job properly, and I was upset that this teenager will keep smoking without so much as a tiny struggle.

My thoughts in the car

As I was driving home in the car the thoughts were battling for my attention.

First I thought about all the under-age smoking that’s going on in the world. Smoking is ADDICTIVE and kids are starting at a younger and younger age.  And if you think your kid will not smoke because he says he doesn’t like the taste, you better realise that NOBODY likes the taste at first.  That’s why it’s called addiction.  A very interesting read is Allan Carr, who wrote about an easy method to quit smoking.  He made an amazing argument for why you should quit smoking and it’s great for the ‘cynical’ smoker who’s ‘heard it all before’; it certainly different.  Look up his books, they’re great.  He also has one for teenagers, so get it for your teenagers.

A second thought I had was about a couple of weeks ago when I went to the Kadim Elsahir concert at the Banyan Tree hotel here in Bahrain.  I’m a big fan of his (click here to see my photo with him) and I made sure I did everything possible to attend the concert.  I had to leave my 4-month old baby at home just to make it that night and I was praying all night that God will let my baby sleep for just this night so I can stay at the concert.  AND HE DID!  I had a great time and I would do it all over again anytime.  BUT the room reeked of smoke.  I spent 5 hours in that ballroom that night and I was surrounded by thick second-hand smoke that I was inhaling all night.  When I went home my clothes, skin, and hair reeked of smoke.  It was 3am when I got home but I still had to take a shower because I couldn’t stand how I smelled like a walking chimney, and I certainly could not feed my baby smelling like that!  How unfair is it that I go to great lengths to stay healthy and yet I still have to inhale second-hand smoke whether I like it or not.  It’s the same in restaurants here.  I’m getting so put off by the smell of smoke these days that I actually would choose a restaurant on that basis.  And what’s even more ridiculous is the ‘smoking sections’ in some restaurants which have an ‘imaginary’ separation that doesn’t block anything!  When will we join the 21st century and ban smoking in ALL public places once and for all?  Oh, I read something in the paper the other day about that ban becoming more strict now, but I’ll only believe it when I see it.  Hopefully, it will be effective by the time my kids grow up!

That’s what I was thinking during my drive back…

Is it ironic?

Then, ironically enough, I got home, opened the newspaper and saw an interesting article.  It was about the harmful effects of burning trash.  If you are not familiar with that, then I wish you could come and live in our house for a few days.  We live in the ‘country-side’ of Bahrain where there are a lot of beautiful trees and large farming lands.  A friend once told me, “why do you need to detox, you’re already detoxing with all that fresh air in your area!”  I so wish she was right.  When you live in this part of the country, you very often wake up to the smell of heavy smoke coming from fires that were started the night before to get rid of unwanted trash and old plant products.  Over night, the dampness of humidity quiets down the smoke, but in the morning when the weather dries a bit with the sun, it gives out a horrible burned smell and smoke.  It’s worse in the summer when there isn’t so much as a breeze to move the smoke.  Even when the doors and windows are closed, it still seeps into the house through unsealed window frames and even AC vents.  It’s horrible that you can’t open the window to get oxygen, you’re trapped.  I have a couple of air purifiers at home to put in the kids rooms for days and nights like these.

Anyway, the article said that this burning is illegal and that people who burn will be penalised.  But where are they?  How do I know who’s burning when all I can see is the smoke coming from several lands down the road.  Should I be the police in the area and hunt these people down?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I CAN’T BREATHE!

I will let you have your life, if you just allow me clean air to breathe! Is that too much to ask?

I would love to know what you think.  Leave me a comment below.

And don’t forget to sign up on my website by clicking here.


11 responses to “I can’t breathe!

  1. I absouletly agree with you. I am against smoking and drinking completely. We have thought our children from an early age that its Haram. (I wish they will stay innocent forever….). Please go to the seaside for freash air, I think you went throught too much second hand harmful smoke. wishing you and your family all the best. take care and stay away from smoke.

  2. Smoking Should be banned in Bahrain! OR they can only sell Ciggrets in the police Station where they require ID and they should give out handouts of pictures of what might happen to people when they smoke.I wish you and your family all the best,take care .

  3. Me too .. I can’t stand the smell of it .. I really hate to go places where it’s feld by the smoke .. When we can live in a country that is free of smoking ..

  4. yes absolutely iam agree with u ,but not satisfyon the behaviour u showed and the ladies in supermarket,if u think as a muslim then u feel urself a guilty to not stop some child doing somthing harmful to himself, on the other hand as u said none of ur business,ihate this word ,is this be a most civilised to be said that if anyone going to kill himself infront of u u all thnk thats none of my business. u willsay that i am changing topic but i feel it deeply .everyday we r passing through roads i saw small children playing dangerously and some teenagers sitting near them an dnot stopping themn waiting if something seriouly will happen to that children ,i was in the car so that i can,t stop . oncei was outside an exhibition and waiting for my husband to pick me ,my 2 children aged 5,and 2 were with me also ,thee some boys aged under 12 were having cigerete,iwas wonder to see them ,and much wonder to see some men were standing near them and didn,t say something to them ,i tried to stop them but they were 4,5 and they can harm me as they were behaving ,but i can,t see that all happening infront of my eyes,so i staired them angrilyfor 5 minutes that they realized that iam angry on them on smoking so they leave the place , i am bahraini now. an diam living here 25 years ago ,as my age is 28.my young son asked me y they r smoking rthey bad guys i said yes and i also cleared him if these type of boys of this age would be in my country no one would allow them to do so openly ,and some man could slap on them to doing that,an dthey can remember for their life long . iam aginst beating children ,but if we all elders all around don,t allow anyone spoiling atmosphere, an dtake further step to stop it atonce will guide them , today it is common thing we see allaround us every where children doing smoking darely because their parents are at home only ,gone are the days every person feel himself father of every child at his place ,today as most civilised we are responsible only for our child ,smtimes thats also not . thats really shocked for me .sorry i don,t blame you only but to all the people those are taking part to spoil our new generation who is naturally ready to respect and obey to elders but i don,t no y we elders are affraid to do our duty ,that make them daring to do evthing they like .we are not fulfulling our duty . its very simple to understand a man is always mentally being a child till he have his own child ,and it,s same to stop a toddler going towatrds a fire ,will we stop him or mind our own business,doing this alittle child also see at his mom or anypne sitting near to him , he before going toward fire see alot of time to us as , we are stopping him or not ,wht u do at taht tiem , the same behavoiuor need for ev child who is not yet bearing his child ,they dare to do these things as he knows ,there is noone stopping me. is there anyone to stop them except their parents ,or r we r parents of only our child ,then how could be they safe when they go out and do something that they showw us not doing at all .

  5. I am British and was born and brought up in the Middle East. Although i have only spent maybe 3 years in the UK whilst growing up, and Barain being my home, i cant help comparing the two when it comes to laws, rules and regs! In regards to so many things, animal welfare, child welfare, road rules, drinking, smoking, the list goes on. What amazes me is that in a country like UK, where culture and religion is so diverse, they seem to be more ‘controlled’ in a sense, of their people, when i say ‘their’ people, i do not mean the British, or the English, i mean every ‘being’ that is in the country. I can’t count how many times i find myself saying, “If the RSPCA were to come out here”, or “That shop would be closed down and the owner fined for selling cigarettes to that ‘child'”. Of course, there are the people who sell cigarettes and alcohol to the underaged, but they get found out and stopped. no excuses. I can’t help it. It infuriates me how so so much more could be done, so easily, all it would take is for the people with the resources, the authority, just to do their job in the way they are supposed to. An example, i annoy at LEAST 6/7 drivers a day, for stopping at every ‘Zebra’ crossing where there is a person, or peope waiting to cross. I get it all, verbal abuse, honks of horns, people speeding to overtake me, yet i will continue to stop at every one throughout every journey. What amazes me the most, is when i am stopping at the crossing outside a police station in Gudebiya, watching as the police just stare at people honking at me while people in the lane beside me continue to speed through, and also, when Police or Traffic Police pass through at a crossing i have stopped at. How can it be expected for people to comply with rules and regulations, when they are not only not stopped, not penalised for breaking them, but when the people who should be leading and guiding, don’t follow them either? Smoking, i will admit i am a smoker myself, and i hate the smell of it, i cannot be in a confined space where there is smoke and i will not smoke around anyone who isnt a smoker. I am a smoker, and i myself, am disgusted when i see ‘selfish’ smokers. We own the right to our bodies, but not to anyone elses. My biggest peeve is seeing young children and babies, with their parents at Shisha Cafes, sitting inside. Who are those parents going to blame when their child develops lung or throat cancer? What do people expect if there is no unity in protecting the world and the people around us? People complain how nobody is doing anything, while being ignorant of the fact that they ARE one of the ‘nobodies’. The Authorities complain how nobody is listening, complying, whilst being ignorant of the fact that THEY are the ones who can enforce and penalise, but don’t, therefore making them a ‘nobody’ too. If we’re living in a world full of ‘nobodies’ nobody listens, and nobody does, then what or who are we?

    I am 21 years old, and am dreading the future my future children are going to be facing. Each generation worsening than the one before. It is not a question of ‘when’ its going to stop, but more of ‘Who’ is going to make it stop. It is obvious it will never cease unless forced to. If everyone does their part, we will reach success, it only takes a minority to land us at failure.
    It is true, the scariest and most deadly creation, is indeed us humans!

    My shoulders feel lighter, thank you Alia! Wishing you and your little ones the best of health (as is possible)!

  6. Dear Alia

    I was reading an article in Time Out Dubai magazine and they were talking about “Mall Walkers ” club – for adults and kids – is there anything like this in Bahrain -I think it would be great so we can exercise in the hot weather and away from the pollution !
    Please let me know !

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  10. My family all the time say that I am killing my time here at net, except
    I know I am getting experience everyday by reading such pleasant posts.

  11. We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your website offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

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