So, throughout my time here in Germany, I have noticed that smoking is endemic here and also in most of the rest of Europe. It’s very bizarre coming from California, where people do smoke, but the overall mood towards smoking is totally different. In California, people seem to have more consideration for those who do not smoke. You can’t smoke within a certain distance to businesses and public building, or near places where people eat. Smokers also seem to be more aware that their smoke bothers other people, so they try to reduce its contact with other people when they can.
In Germany and Europe, there is no such consideration for non-smokers. People just don’t seem to care. I have been in Paris, enjoying a beautiful breakfast on the patio of a cute little restaurant, when someone sat two feet away from me, upwind, and lit up a cigarette. I’ve seen people in Germany take one last drag off of their cigarette before walking through the front door of a grocery store and exhaling their smoke inside where people buy their food. I was honestly baffled at that. I have also been waiting at a buss stop, when somebody sat so close to me that we were very nearly touching, and they started smoking. The smokers here just really don’t seem to care how anybody else feels about their second-hand smoke. It’s kinda crazy and frustrating if I’m being honest.
This is the one thing that I’ve had an issue with since I got to Germany. It has taken some getting used to, and I had realize that it’s just a cultural difference. All in all, I love Germany and I really enjoy living here, but I cannot stand how often I have to be around people smoking!