Thursday, July 5, 2012

Smoking while Swimming

I am amazed at the locals' ability to hold a cigarette in their mouths, the cigarette dangling between the lips as it were, for long periods of time.  I can't do it.  I hold a cigarette in my lips for five seconds and I feel noxious.  I also don't know how these people can hold a cigarette in their mouths while they are on bicycles, electric bikes and motorcycles going at fast speeds and in the most inclement of weather conditions.  I tried once  to smoke and ride on my e-bike but quickly gave up.

This evening, I just saw another astounding -- to me -- example of a cigarette being held in the mouth.  I took Tony, on an e-bike, from Casa K to a nearby park with a small lake in it, around which there were boardwalks, piers and a small stretch of beach (very, very artificial).  With the day's high temperature being 37 degrees, many locals went to the lake to take a dip!  I and my wife wouldn't dare swim there because, as far as we are concerned, the lake water was far too dirty for swimming.  But hundreds of people didn't think so and they happily dived into the water.  A few of these swimmers were smoking and were wading in the water with a cigarette in the mouth.  Some of these swimmer-smokers were in the water up to their chests.  I would have thought that such smoking would not have been done because you can't smoke a wet cigarette.  And wouldn't you also need dry hands to light the cigarette?

Anyway, I could just imagine how lifeguards in Canada would react to a smoking swimmer.  They would go gestapo.

I can also report a couple other things I observed while wandering the park with Tony:
  1. Some people drove their automobiles right into the park on, what I thought, were paths meant only for pedestrians and cyclists.  To me it was equivalent of seeing someone drive their car on Vancouver's Stanley Park Seawall.  The Chinese here are new to the culture of automobiles and often seem to think cars can be taken anywhere bicycles can be taken.  In my apartment complex, barriers had been set up in front of sidewalks to stop drivers from driving all over the complex's grounds. The drivers thought this was an imposition and removed the barrier, driving their cars right to their apartments.
  2. The Park, we went to, usually doesn't have concessions.  But with the crowd there, a bunch of entrepreneurs appeared.  Some were selling drinks from a cooler.  Others were selling barbecued meat.  And one lady was doing swift business selling inflated swimming floats.

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