Thursday, February 16, 2006

Situation Vacant

Sunday dim sum has become a tradition for three of us that have recently moved from Hong Kong.

It's the only time that I eat out so it's quite a special occasion.

This meant that I wasn't impressed last weekend when two men on an adjacent table both lit up cigarettes.

It's not like I haven't been used to people smoking in restaurants. But strong air conditioning in Hong Kong does something towards dissipating the smoke. Besides, people in Hong Kong people don't usually linger in restaurants before or after eating.

Feeling indignant, I went up to our waiter and asked if we could change table. He was quite annoyed and said that it might take twenty minutes for another table to become available.

I decided to change tack and become obnoxious. I walked back to our table and asked the smokers if they were on their last cigarettes. They said yes so we stayed put.

Thankfully, parliament has passed legislation this week to ban smoking in all enclosed public spaces. But this has stirred up another of my pet hates.

I am so tired of hearing the complaint that Britain is becoming a nanny state.

Look at yourselves Britons! You spit, urinate and vomit all over the streets. You eat fast-food meals and consume alcohol on public transport. You greet customers with 'What you want?'.

What this country needs is the return of Mary Poppins. Preferably with a big stick. And their own 'Be a good host!' campaign.


dimsumdolly said...

Yeah, so i really don't care if Singapore is labelled a "nanny state" 'cos i'm extremely glad for the no-smoking ban in air conditioned places!

Joe said...

I agree. Now I can't wait until 2007 when the legislation comes in. By that time I might even have the money to eat out more often too!

Frau Schinkeldinkeleinmeister said...

I am ferry happy to see you blogging again, especially viss my faforite hate-topic, smoking!

Diss is ze vun single sing I hate ze most about Chermany! Zay are krazy about zair cigarettes and smoking. Zair are cigarette machines literally on efery street korner (I pass two on ze 200m valk home from ze train station), and zair are cigarette ads eferywhere - at ze bus stops, train stations, before ze movies at ze cinema, in magazines, on telefision...

But ze verst sing is dat zay luff to smoke eferywhere and zay KANN smoke eferywhere - in ze uni, in all ze restaurants and cafes (it is not efen ze law to haff a non-smoking sektion), in ze foyers off cinemas, theaters and galleries, zair is efen a shopping center near me vair it is allowed to smoke!

Efen ven it is forbidden, ze Chermans still smoke bekause zay sink dat it is about zair freedom to do vat zay vant! Ze Chermans are so krazy! Zay haff ze rules for eferything and zay follow ze rules all ze time except for ze smoking! I not understand! Please explain!

Hopefully viss England and ze other kountries zair vill be more pressure on Chermany to konform.

Frau S said...


You are ferry lucky dat zair is dim sum in England. Chermany is still light years from dat. Zay sink dat ze chinese food is ven you sro eight different types off fegetables together with vun type off meat and fry it togezer viss a strange sauce. Ze whole menu konsists off different kombinations off ze fegetables, meat and farious sauces. Ferry depressing.

joe said...

I think our opinions are perfectly aligned on every topic Frau S (except for slight variation on the charms of camels).
German Chinese food sounds like what happens when I try and make Chinese food. Visit London and you can do a comparison on that AND I will take you for dim sum!

Knuffy said...

So I didn't win you over with my charm??

joe said...

nono... it is the spitting, drooling and biting I object to Knuffy. I never noticed you doing any of those.

Knuffy said...

Hey, I don't know any camels who do those things! It's just a false stereotype. I've met a lot of other camels in my time and I haven't seen a single one spit...Though I did see and hear a lot of spitting going on from our flat in Shanghai - but not from camels, from you humans!