On Saturday we went out for dinner with our visiting friends. However, once me and my bf got to the restaurant we realized that our visiting friends had ended up falling asleep instead of getting ready, and although they’d realized their mistake and woken up again –they were running a bit late. No biggy. My bf and I decided to have a drink and enjoy some alone time, seeing that we haven’t had any for the last month or so (like I said –visitor inflation!). Soon, however, we realized that we had been seated next to the smoking corner of the restaurant (that was smoke-free except for that very corner). Since none of us are smokers we asked the waiter if he by any chance had another table available, further away from the smoking corner? He did, and so we moved to the second floor of the restaurant.
-So is this floor smoke free too? I asked the waiter, who replied with an “of course” and a smile.
“Great!” I thought to myself and was just about to have a sip of my drink when I realized that the Chinese man at the table next to ours was lighting up a cigarette.
-Eh… I thought you said this floor was non-smoking? I said to the waiter (not as an accusation, more like.. a bit confused).
-Oh.. yes, it is! Sorry.
And then he went up to the guy that was smoking, pointed at me, and obviously told the man to stop smoking.
By once I felt a bit silly. It was not as if I would have died if this man would have smoked. I was more questioning the waiter, but I didn’t want to make a big deal.
Turns out that before we had arrived to the second floor, there had been a large group of Chinese people chain smoking at the table next to the now smoking man, and the smoking man was furious when the waiter told him that this floor was now all of a sudden “smoke free” (which it obviously was not! But that’s what they had told me!). He wasn’t actually angry at me (phew!) but at the waiter, and started screaming and making a big scene. At the same time, the large group of Chinese chain smokers left, giving me looks that could kill. I felt like such an idiot, like such an annoying, idiotic laowai, who obviously had not read into the situation before I opened my mouth.
By the time our friends arrived everything had calmed down, and no one else smoked throughout that dinner, but I definitely learned a lesson: never believe problems here are solved easily, because when it comes to taking the blame of something, people can be quite reluctant (like the waiter who had told me the floor was non-smoking: he told the smoking man that I was the problem, and he told me that it was the smoking man who was doing something wrong). I don’t really like people smoking in restaurant, but then again, I don’t dislike it so much that I would start a fight over it. Next time I’ll definitely keep my mouth shut.