Smoking culture. You stand out more here if you don’t smoke. It’s a part of the culture… which I acknowledge. My former host mother of a whopping 48 hours also smokes. However, she smokes in the kitchen, two doors down from my former bedroom. The house wreaks. I can understand that you are a smoker. But when you have guests as well as a contract forbidding smoking inside, have enough respect to smoke outside. When she continued to smoke inside after being reminded by her employer (my homestay program) it was not allowed, I moved homestays. The interesting part was the laughs and slightly judgmental looks I received from every local I explained the situation to. They didn’t get it. But they didn’t need to. My monies pay for college. My monies pay for the homestay.
Where is the line you draw between cultural appreciation and non-negotiables? I vote you’re allowed to have some non-negotiables. Just because you’re not willing to participate or endure some things doesn’t mean you don’t understand their culture. It just means you know yourself enough to know what you can and cannot handle. Science says smoking is unhealthy. That’s good enough for me. Had I been in a smoke-wreaking home for three months, I would never be able to relax, study, or enjoy the rest of what the vibrant city has to offer. When you know better, you do better. I knew better, so despite my unpopular opinion, I stood my ground.