With 4 hours to pass between moving out of our temporary accommodation in the Guilin countryside and moving into out newly-rented apartment, one of my husband’s colleagues brought us to Guilin’s well known coffee shop Yumi Coffee 芽米咖啡. I was thrilled to find some unexpected home comforts just round the corner from our apartment, and not only that, but also in a non-smoking environment!
We had a lovely pitcher of wheatgrass and aloe tea. However, before long my bubble was burst when the patrons at the next table started smoking. My husband brought this to the waiter’s attention, who asked the men to stop smoking. Unfortunately it wasn’t long before they were at it again. This time I went to find a waitress and explained the issue, and the supervisor came to speak to the men. I was most surprised when this conversation concluded with the compromise of opening the windows, and the men spending the next 2 hours smoking and laughing about how even with clear ‘no smoking’ signs, it was so easy to get their way and smoke to their heart’s content.
However, the upsetting part was that when the smoking customers asked the waiter/supervisor who had reported the smoking, the staff were happy to point us out. It might sound over-the-top but I felt we’d done something of a public service yet we were being singled out and potentially put at risk. Clearly the restaurant did not want to take responsibility and were happy to pass in on to us. Back in the UK the law has been on the side of non-smokers since 2007 so I’ve got used to eating/drinking in a smoke-free environment.
This is not something I considered when I moved to China and I was left with a bad taste in my mouth, sorry that I will never return to Yumi Coffee 芽米咖啡 again.