Miscellany: Zona de Fumadores
If there's a Tenth Circle of Hell, it must surely be something like the international baggage claim area of the Barcelona Airport, at least for anyone sensitive to secondhand smoke. Now, I'm not one of those ninnies who goes about insisting private businesses not allow smoking, but given that I have little choice over where I pick up my luggage when I travel, it'd be nice if people had the courtesy not to chain-smoke inside an enclosed space. Unfortunately, there are many Spanish smokers, and thus the wait for our luggage was made interminable by the acrid pollution in the room.
In an even more perverse irony, the government tries to contain this problem by consigning all the smokers to "Zona de Fumadores," glass partitioned spaces where you're supposed to smoke inside the airport. This only has the unhappy consequence of concentrating all the smoke into one place (the smoking zones aren't equipped with adequate filtration or ventilation), which then wafts out into an unholy pall that literally makes it uncomfortable to pass by.
Even more irksome are the people who just throw cigarette butts on the ground and stamp them out, as if the used filters are going to magically disappear. I think littering is rather rude, but it takes on a whole special kind of awful when you just toss your butts out inside an airport like it was a bar or nightclub.