Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years: Version 2.0!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

No Smoking!

Word came down the pipe this morning that the entire company and grounds are now designated non-smoking.  No one has yet to remove the ashtray from our smoking corner, so I should go out and diligently fill that puppy up on this, my possibly last day of smoking freedom.

Yeah, yeah I should quit; think of your daughters!  They won't have a father around to watch them graduate from uni!  Or worse, no one to support them at uni!  Cmon, get with the program waeg!

It's one of the few self destructive pleasures left to me, piss off.  I jest, I'll get around to quitting, yada yada.

Korea used to be a former smoker's paradise, where it wasn't uncommon to see people smoking in all public buildings including hospitals, with smoking corners right around the corner from cancer wards.  Young bucks freshly conscripted into the army were strongly encouraged to smoke, thus producing a large population of addicts that filled the state coffers with piles and piles of Won.  Yet even with new regulations limiting public smoking, the price of smokes is still far below the OECD average, and warnings on packages are a few lines of text as opposed to the grotesque images of various cancers found on the cigarette packs in many countries.  I guess there is still some paradise to be found although the images do hold a certain cachet.  With women smokers becoming more common, there is also still much wealth to be exploited, so I'll believe the sincerity of the new push towards making Korea a health centered non-smoking utopia when the country completely sells off their cigarette manufacturing plants.  I won't mention the obvious hypocrisy of taking an anti-smoking (and anti-drug) position when the government is still manufacturing and selling drugs.

It'll be fun to watch the enforcers try to stop all the old adjusshis from smoking; there are quite a few of the old bastards hanging around, and old adjusshis just don't give a shit when it comes to stuff like that.  Soju and cigarettes are the only things they often have to live for, and it'll be a cold day in hell before most of them listen to some middle manager telling them to leave the grounds to smoke.  But then, they'll probably be all dead in a few years, and admittedly far fewer of the younger generation smoke in comparison.

Myself, I'll just find where the smokers have hidden themselves to indulge their cancer inducing pleasure, and hang out when no one is about.

Time for coffee.  And a cigarette.

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