We Love Our Smoke, Thank You Very Much
Indonesia, among other things, is a country full of smoke. You have your forest fires with enough smoke to fog a neighboring country, and of course, Jakarta is synonymous with traffic exhaust fumes. The bigger the vehicle, it seems, the fouler the smoke produced by its engine.And Indonesia is a smoking country. Non-smokers are the minority in Jakarta, with every one whiffing away their roll of dried tobacco leaves at any point of the day. Jakarta’s government has tried to enforce a no-smoking policy in malls (somewhat effective), government and other public buildings (not effective at all), and in office buildings along the Sudirman-Thamrin area (also not too effective). You just can’t take Jakartans away from their cheap cigarettes, whether or not they are actually addicted.I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against smokers – we’re all adults and we can do what we please, and we take responsibility for our own actions. It’s the darn smoke that I hate! I hate it even more if the smoke occurs in places that actually has no proper ventilation, like air-conditioned rooms, or packed buses. On the other hand, the tobacco industry props up millions of people’s livelihoods in Indonesia, and specifically in Jakarta. So the fate of these very people depend on other people smoking. So be a patriot and keep on smoking.It’s very easy to compare – for those of you fortunate enough to visit an overseas city, let’s say in the Asian area, you’ll notice that the sun is a tad more harsher than in Jakarta; Jakarta may be a bit more humid. This is because of the smog – because of all that smog, the sun’s rays do not penetrate as directly as in other cities which have cleaner air. So we’ll keep our smoke.