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Contemplating Freedom

August 17, 2008

The only place which I can sit on to relax and enjoy a novel within walking distance from my house is J.Co. The seating is decent, and the coffee are reasonably priced. Unfortunately, truth be told, if there were a Starbucks nearby, I would definitely go there. Not because Starbucks have better coffee, but because of their strict non-smoking policy.

It is hard to avoid smokers and their poisonous fume. We, who are repulsed by cigarette smoke, are constantly being harassed by the smoking hegemony. They regularly violate our right of fresh air with severe indifference. They are everywhere, except maybe within the four walls of our homes.

Two (or was it three?) years ago we, non-smokers of Jakarta, had a breath of fresh air when the local government passes a law which restricts smoking in enclosed public places. Unfortunately, it the talk was louder than the action. The law is limp and impotent. It is rarely upheld and respected. The smoke goes on.

“Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain”. The quote from Friedrich Schiller, a German philosopher, was aptly used by Isaac Asimov in his book The Gods Themselves. I couldn’t agree more with Asimov when he pointed that people keeps on smoking, no matter how destructive it is. Maybe Einstein was right, human stupidity is really infinite.

Sixty three years had passed since our Independence, yet we are still far from liberty. Our freedom repressed and order ignored. Everything blurs in the haze of smoke. Is there still hope for all of us?

8 Comments
  1. Horas!!
    Merdeka!!

  2. Haha.. jadi ingat kemarin ini ke Citos (Cilandak Town Square), lalu saya keliling mencari-cari cafe untuk tempat meeting dengan kolega saya.

    Setelah berkeliling, akhirnya ke Starbucks lagi :D habisan, yang lainnya pada penuh asap semua. Padahal ketika itu saya sedang agak sesak nafas.

    Gak jadi nyoba cafe yang lain deh…. not my loss tho !

  3. Yah, mau gimana lagi. Saya sempat ngobrol dengan beberapa perokok soal rokok yang akan difatwa haram (jadi nggak tuh?). Mereka apatis dengan rencana tsb, malah ngatain MUI kurang kerjaan segala. Intinya dengan segala daya upaya, mereka tetap akan merokok.

  4. LOL, long live smokers.

    we’ve a strong lobby you know

  5. @treespotter: Allow me to show you my middle finger then :)

  6. sopjagung permalink

    Same here. When I have a few hours to pass at the malls, I rarely go to places other than Starbucks because of the smoker-friendly policy of most malls and restaurants.

    A couple of days ago, I went to FX and ate at Cosi. Since smokers are seated INSIDE, we have to sit outside, where we can view the huge void between FX’s front entrance and the second floor ceiling. Guess what? The void had a mist of grey thanks to four chain-smokers who sat on Segafredo’s upper floor.

    Bener2 salam jari tengah deh!

  7. I found this annoying too.

    Husband’s allergic to ciggie smoke, so I had to really avoid smokers wherever we go when we were in Indo a few weeks ago.

    Btw AK, looking at your food pics, you do eat lots of good food! Koq masih kurus yah? :)

  8. @Irine:
    I’m gaining weight again! I’m now back to the weight I had when I left Melbourne. But I guess that’s still not enough.

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