Sep 23, 2008

The Casual Restaurant Critic on Smoking in Restaurants

The Casual Restaurant Critic would like to inform the 19 readers of this blog that Mexico - and even Merida - has joined the ranks of the cities, states and countries that have imposed upon their citizenry smoking controls of some sort.

While in Canada, the Critic noticed that not only are there no more 'smoking sections' anywhere to be found in restaurants or bars, there is no smoking outside the restaurants or bars either, and a new bylaw in the city of Vancouver for example, now prohibits smoking within '6 meters of any entrance' to the building. This means, wherever there are several small shops and restaurants together, like Robson or Denman streets for example you can't really get 6 meters away from any entrance. The Critic calculated in several areas that the 'smoking hot spot' (and it could be labeled as such, much like the WiFi hot spots in public areas) was in the middle of the street.

Of course there are ways around this; Canadians are generally very law-abiding but the smoking crowd is a little more rebellious. At many Starbucks locations, for example, smokers (or staff?) have moved one or two outdoor tables away from the other ones thereby creating a 6 meter illusion and bonafide smoking area. I mean, who can imagine coffee without a cigarette?

And now Merida has joined in in the no smoking fun. The Casual Restaurant Critic went to have a salad at Italianni's and there were no smoking signs everywhere and the place smelled of ozone. Those little injectors are everywhere it seems. Same experience at La Tradición. Also, at La Susana in Kanasin! The Critic was amazed at how civilized Merida has become.

It seems, however a little silly, all this fuss about smoking, when when people are literally losing their heads in drug wars, the land is being cemented over, every last living green thing is being chopped down, the water table is being contaminated, people still can't drive and there's no one to teach them, poverty is growing among the poor in the Yucatan's countryside at an alarming rate along with drug use and crime, wages are stagnant, and and and. But now we have no smoking in restaurants and this is progress at last.

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