smoking in public places


As in much of the world, there’s a lot of it.  Some restaurants now have a no-smoking section.  In general, this means that you find yourself next to another table of non-smokers adjacent to a guy with a cigar.  If you are a smoker and gave run out of cigarettes and are embarrassed to try to figure out how to say, "Can you spare a smoke?" in Hungarian, you can probably have a reasonably satisfying experience sitting in the no-smoking section and inhaling the second-hand smoke from the smoking section that surrounds you.

What is there to say?  Tokyo is worse. 

On the other hand, if you are a smoker, you will have a good deal of company and virtually no one making you feel self-conscious. 

I was going to use this section to highlight places that non-smokers can go and feel reasonably certain that there won’t be much smoke around them.  I still intend to do so.  I just haven’t found any yet.  Other than the airport.


Budapest is a city of smokers, of people with sallow complexions in winter time, of earnest young men and women in cafés sucking down poisons as they argue art or politics, of workers smoking as they dangle midair from a construction crane...a city where, as often as not, the tables in the No-Smoking section of a restaurant come complete with ashtrays...

Smoking in Budapest