If you were to pop in to my place for a visit tonight, you’d imagine that I was secretly indulging in cigarette smoking. The smell of cigarette smoke in my place is quite strong. Problem is, I haven’t been home all day, so it can’t be me! Here’s the problem. The apartment next door has been converted into an office. China does not have a system of zoning where buildings are designated for residence of commercial/office. So apartments in an upscale building like mine can be used for either. I had known this sort of before I rented here, but when I signed the lease, I was specifically asked if I intended to use the place as a residence or a business. Anyway, the apartment next door is an office, and as far as I can tell every single employee over there is a chain smoker. Doors and windows don’t seal well here, so the smoke wafts out into the hallway, and has now found its way into my apartment. It wasn’t quite so bad when the weather was warm because their office windows were open, but now that everything is shut tight, the smoke congregates in the hallway outside my apartment door.
China is a land of second-hand smoke. That much I know from spending time in restuarants. But in my own apartment!!! Sigh. I wish I could escape it at home! I suppose it’s not nice to say, but I hope the business next door folds.