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…
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.
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