second hand smoke

Cigarette smoke.

 The downside to living in Bosnia is the chronic haze of second and third hand smoke.

Oh, I remember the days when people smoked in America to the same extent. My first job was in a small office, where my boss smoked constantly.  She did provide a small fan to blow the smoke away. But how useful was that, really?

Today, one of my colleagues went down to the school cafe, and returned quickly. He described this café as Dante Inferno, due to the haze of smoke. And the crowded and loud group of students.

Even walking past a café is like smoking a cigarette.

The open café in the classroom building allows smoke to filter up through the office.

Cigarettes are rather inexpensive, thin and slender. A pack costs 3KM or about two dollars. Everyone smokes it seems. Everywhere.  Even at the café in Sarajevo in the mall, under the many clearly posted no smoking signs, there are  many people smoking. One mother  sat down, gave her child a  slice of pizza, and then pulled out her cigarettes.

You do grow used to it. Sort of. I avoid cafes, unless meeting someone for a coffee. Then I find myself gulping water, and talking like I have bronchitis for the rest of the day.

But after a day of trying to organize anything I can see the  pleasure in sitting down with a cigarette and a coffee.  At least in those moments you can enjoy a relative peace.  But I prefer the run through the mountains.


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