I flew into Barcelona last night. Within an hour or so I was in a little bar with a beer in front of me and a cigarette in my hand. So nice to be somewhere civilised again. But there was an edge of grief as I looked at the relaxed people chatting at the bar and smoking, because in a month or so a total ban comes into force in Spain. I´m still not sure whether it´s quite as comprehensive as the UK ban.
My Spanish friend on the other side of the table said that bar owners were already protesting that the ban would close many of them down, so it sounds like there will be resistance. She also told me that Madrid was one of several autonomous regions in Spain, and that it had refused to enforce the existing mild ban. That´s the one that allows bars with an area less than 100 square metres to choose to be smoking or non-smoking. Doesn’t seem likely they’ll be enforcing the new, more comprehensive ban.
I woke up this morning into what seemed like a warm sunny English summer day, enjoyed a couple of slow cafes con leche and cigarettes in the cafe next to the hotel, and then strolled through the sunlit streets to find the cyber cafe I’m now sat inside. It looks like I should be able keep posting.
I’m now wondering if there might be something I can usefully do while I’m here. I might be able to find out more about the new smoking ban, and just how comprehensive it is. I’m also wondering if I might ask at cafes and bars whether the proprietors plan to fight the ban. Not that I could actually ask, because my Spanish is only sufficient to order myself a beer. But I might be able to compose, with Spanish help, a little written or printed questionnaire for them to them to peruse while I sit at a table with mi cerveza.
Perhaps, if anyone has any suggestions, they could leave them in the comments. I’ll be here for a few days. The sort of questions I was thinking of asking were: do you think the new ban will affect your business? Do you propose to propose to protest against the new ban? Do you think there will be compliance with the new ban?