First, she says, “I used to eat alone most of the time when I was a student because I wanted to concentrate on eating. I still do the same.”
Then her story goes on to talk about a regular sushi restaurant.
One day, she went to a sushi restaurant on her own.
A man puffing on a cigarette and his female friend came into the restaurant while she was eating.
They poured soy sauce on a little saucer and beer into glasses as they sat down. He was still puffing on a cigarette and the woman started smoking as soon as they sat down.
They ordered some mackerel hard-rolled sushi, sardines, warmed sake and so forth. They kept smoking while they were waiting for the food to be served. They were smoking like a chimney.
The smoke blew over the counter and got to her.
As she heard the entrance door opened, she smelled cigarette smoke. There were 3 new customers with cigarettes in their mouths entering the restaurant. Their behavior was exactly the same as the couple.
So, the inside of the small restaurant got filled with cigarette smoke which spoiled the scent of the seaweed and food.
As she was observing their behavior, one of them went to the bathroom leaving a burning cigarette on the ashtray.
He came out of the bathroom and he lit another cigarette before he got back to the seat.
He realized he left a burning cigarette on the ashtray to smoke it again after he went back from the bathroom. He started laughing.
Because he laughed like a horse, he blew off some ashes and they went into her tea.
She finished her meal and left the restaurant quickly. Looking back on the event, she says, “I felt like throwing sushi and money away into an ashtray.”
She is sure that there are a lot of people who experience the same thing as she did.
She says, “What bothers me is why they want to smoke in the sushi restaurants and what bothers me even more is why sushi restaurants in Japan do not ban smoking in the restaurants.”
Finally, she says that even if a total ban on smoking in restaurants is difficult, they can try to separate smoking tables and non-smoking tables. But it might be difficult to do so in a small restaurant like the sushi restaurant she went to. So she suggests that they can at least try to set days for smoking days and banning smoking days. By doing so, everyone can enjoy their meals without bothering the others.
The NIKKEI 02/02/2011 by Kaoruko Himeno (writer)