Ok, this might sound like a strange topic for my Med. Mondays, but it’s totally appropriate. Israel is the land of smokers. You might think this being the ‘holy land’ and all that it wouldn’t be so, but I am here to set the record straight.
Just so you know where I stand on the subject: I HATE smoking! Yes, that is pretty harsh, but it physically makes me sick. I have friends who smoke (shame, shame!), and it’s not the person I dislike, but the act of what they’re doing…just to clear that up.
This is a no-smoking sign posted in the hallway of my apartment building, yet when I walk out my door, its like walking into a room full of smokers. No one obeys any of the signs, and everyone smokes everywhere.
There isn’t any ‘no smoking’ education in schools and even teenagers smoking is not a big deal here. It really is a bit disturbing, and I feel my life span diminishing just from inhaling all the second-hand smoke already.
The other day I was getting a ride with someone who was helping at the shelter and he asked me if I minded if he smoked on the way home. I said, “yes, I mind” and it blew him away. He said he had never heard anyone say that before, because everyone he knows smokes. I asked him if it offends him that I DO mind, and he said, “No. I just didn’t know anyone who doesn’t do it.”
How’s that for you?!? I’m the only non-smoker in Tel Aviv! hehehehe