Much ado has been made recently about the anti-smoking bill in our homeland.
The bill, as we all know, had been in effect since 2008 but had never been implemented.
I would like to share one of my many experiences with smoking during my last visit to our country.
It was a very hot early afternoon in August. We had just departed from Meteora, and were just out of Kalabaka where we stopped at a village taverna for lunch.
The heat was unbearable. And even though there were tables on the veranda we preferred to find a place inside the spacious and air-conditioned restaurant.
We sat near the window, under a large banner that said: SMOKING IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN (ΑΠΑΓΟΡΕΥΕΤΑΙ ΑΥΣΤΗΡΑ ΤΟ ΚΑΠΝΙΣΜΑ).
The establishment, from what we could tell, was a family business.
The mother served as a waitress, the son was behind the cash register, whereas the father was in the kitchen.
We ordered our food and waited.
In a little while, the kitchen door opened and the chef came out.
He held a large pan with both his hands. He was taking it to the bain marie. From his mouth hung a cigarette. The ashes were about to fall in the pan.
Soon after, a fire truck pulled up at the parking lot of the restaurant.
Two firemen entered the establishment.
They headed to the cash register. The young man offered them a cigarette and all three of them started smoking and chatting.
I looked at my acquaintances, and I looked at the sign that said SMOKING IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN.
I shook my head.
Oh, eternal Greece!!!