During the last couple of days, I have started reacting very badly to tobacco smoke. It makes my nose run, my eyes water and turn bloodshot, and my face burn and itch. It is just like the allergic reaction I sometimes get in the presence of lots of dust. This is especially bad because everything here – from the ferries to cafes to bars to palace courtyards – is saturated with smokers and toxic fumes.
That humanity has embraced such a disgusting and anti-social practice so broadly is a fairly strong indictment of our good sense and compassion. The smoking of tobacco surely ranks among the worst of all human discoveries, along with biological warfare and ethnic nationalism.