At least that’s what happened from my point of view!
Yesterday, as I comfortably sat down to slurp a bowl of noodles at the food court (called the “mamak” in Malaysia) before attending my first day of grad school, watching the beautiful ‘birds’ walk past, it became apparent that in Malaysia, smokers light up where ever they please with no regard to the non-smokers.
The warm evening soon turned bad when this women in her 30ies sat in the seat in front of me, quietly took out her reading glasses, her the days news papers, and her lovely pack of cigarettes. What happened next was something that was well practiced and unconscious. Paper unrolls, reading glasses are worn, fingers reach for cigarette ever so gently, and slowly inserts the precious stick in mouth. Wait… she realized that she was missing her lighter. She then reached over to her hand bag, searched frantically as though it was her heart-medicine, nearly knocking over her cup of tea in the process, and found her lighter. The cigarette got lit, and she kept puffing away.
I love smokers because when they smoke, they want to share the beautiful smoke with other people and in the process, they get so excited that they fail to ask if the other people around them actually want their little delights. This little lady was no different. She keep sending her puff straight at my face.
Those of you who know me, will know that, the sinus in my nose has a life of its own. It tends to get really pissed when there are air contaminants and reacts with very violent sneeze. This condition has been pretty horrid to the extent that OTC nasal medication doesn’t work for me any more.
My reaction to this woman who was smoking my face was:
The first time I did that, I covered my face with a handkerchief (yes I own one), stooped down, and apologized.
And then it struck me. I am going to make sure that the next time I sneeze, I was going to do it on her face, and I was not going to be sorry about it.
This is exactly what happened in the twenty seconds that followed
Me: “aaachhhooooooooooooommmmmmm” (note: direct at her face while watching all the saliva go from me to her in slowmo)
Woman: *stares at me* (she was probably thinking that I was the ugliest creature alive hehe)
20 seconds pass by...
Me: “aaaaacccchhhhhhhoooooooooooommm” (note: you guessed it. Direction = her face. Accompanied by the tiny droplets of saliva from my mouth all in slowmo. Reminds me of a scene from the matrix. Saliva goes by while everything goes to slowmo.)
Woman: (really pissed off sounding really angry) “Don’t you know how to sneeze with your mouth close or say sorry” (she stares at me)
Me: “aaaacchhhhoooooooooooommm” (again at her face and sounding very angry and really loud) “EXCUSE ME… BUT YOU DON’T SEEM TO CARE WHEN YOU BLOW YOUR SMOKE ON MY FACE AND YOU DO SEEM TO THINK YOU HAVE TO APOLOGISE FOR MAKING ME SMOKE YOUR CIGGERATE”
Woman: (looks totally pissed off and ready to rip me off to pieces) “Bh…..” (interupting her)
Me: (even loud and drowning her voice) “IF YOU THINK ITS OKAY FOR ME TO TAKE THAT SHIT FROM YOUR MOUTH, THEN YOU CAN TAKE MINE”
Woman: (getting red) “ghrr…” (as i interupt her yet again)
Me: (Pissed off but in a calm tone) “Just shut up. If you think you have the right to smoke in the air that I breath, then its just too bad. If you want me to stop sneezing on your face, then stop smoking on my face. Get a lawyer if you cant deal with it”…
She: (looking irritated I guess.. I wasent looking at her any more) *gets up and leaves*
Students around me: (probably nonsmokers too) *start clapping*
Me: (in Bahasa Malaysia) “Abang ahh.. lagi satu tea-o-lima-o-panas” (translated: Brother, one more hot lemon tea please)
I am not going to be nice about the smokers out there. Some of those who smoke in Asia take advantage of the fact that the non-smokers have been too nice to them. These smokers surround themselves with an air of invincibleness. As a citizen of the world it is my RIGHT to live in a clean environment. It is my right to be able to be at a public place and be assured of clean air. I will do WHAT EVER it take to protect that right.
I shall not be nice about the fact that money hungry law makers don’t care about the welfare of non-smokers. I shall not be nice about the fact that besides “increasing the price of cigarettes” (a strategy that doesn’t really stop people from smoking because people will pay what ever it takes to sooth their addiction to nicotine) and the odd “tak nak” (meaning: don’t want) billboards, no real legislation is carried out.
You will see people smoking inside police officers, at bus stops, at hospitals, at railway stations, at government agencies, and other places of public interest. No real law exists that bans the use of cigarettes in such public places.
I shall then take have my own way of dealing with smokers.
“Accchhhhoooooooooooommmmm” And its going to be on your face.