What do you mean, where is the non-smoking section?

This pretty door opens into a café in Niš, a city south of Belgrade, and birth cradle of the emperor Constantin The Great. We stopped there for lunch and a bit of sightseeing as we made our way back from Bulgaria, where we’d spent a few days after Christmas. It serves great deserts, hot chocolates ,and ranks high on Trip Advisor.

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Now, if you zoom in, do you see the square blue sign?

P1030609Yes? Have you seen one of those before? Because it was my first and I didn’t notice it when we went in.

Non-smokers, people who do not wish to eat and drink in an atmosphere so polluted by cigarettes you can hardly see the person seating in front of you, forget about breathing, pass your way and find another place. We are smokers, and we are proud of it.

And here is the other kind, the non-smoking sign that I’m used to, on shops’ doors, this time. Maybe it’s a good thing. Maybe shops used to be filled with smoke, like restaurants.

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This is a scourge, in Serbia. People smoke everywhere, all the time. Non-smoking sections in restaurants or cafés are almost impossible to find, and when they’re officially there, it’s usually a tiny corner right next to the rest of the restaurant. The only way to avoid this is to have lunch at 12, and dinner at 6 pm. Or stay home, which is what I’ve basically decided to do until summer, when it becomes possible to eat and drink outside again.

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