I had to go up to the city yesterday.
I hate and despise the city for its noise and its dirt and its mayhem. I don’t know how the hell I survived working there for all those years.
What was worse, I got stuck in the Rush Hour for the first time in about eight years.
Some things have changed over time.
The number of traffic lights seems to have increased exponentially. Roads that used to be relatively traffic free are now bottlenecks because they have been narrowed to allow for empty bus lanes and empty cycle lanes. The amount of paintwork on the road surfaces defies description. There is also a scary proliferation of roundabouts. I think they are overused at the behest of AA Roadwatch who love talking about “rindabytes” on the radio. They drove Roger mad though.
Other things haven’t changed.
The mad fuckers in the Beamers and Volvos still fight with the Old Dears for mastery of the outside lane. The first lot want to treat the city roads like Brands Hatch, and the Old Dears want to drive at twenty miles an hour, and have to be in the outside lane because they are turning off five miles up the road. Cyclists still cycle as if they have the entire road to themselves, and weave about all over the place. Cars still won’t switch on any lights until it’s so dark they can’t see the bonnet of their car.
It was a ten minute meeting, but I was gone from home for three hours. I still haven’t recovered.
The place I was going to had a car park out front. It consisted of a loop of road, and in the middle of the loop, there was grass and trees. It would have been nice if it weren’t for the noise and the massive cranes looming ominously overhead. In the middle of this little oasis, there was a patio area, with seats, tables, a shelter and ashtrays. As smoking areas go, it wasn’t bad.
Some distance away, there was another patio area, with tables and chairs. It was about half the size of a tennis court, and strategically placed all around its perimeter were very large signs – “THIS IS A NO SMOKING AREA”. What the fuck?
So here we have two areas, both outside in the open air. One is smoking, and the other non-smoking. Why?
Will some one please tell me what the objection is to smoking in the open air?
Is tobacco smoke so lethal that the merest contact will cause an instantaneous and horrible death?
Are they afraid that smoking is contagious?
Is the world going totally insane?