Friday, July 17, 2009

Bavaria relaxes smoking regulations

"Smokers in Bavaria rejoiced on Wednesday as the state’s parliament loosened the regulations on a smoking ban instituted 18 months ago." The new regulations are said to reflect reality and Bavaria’s “live and let live” attitude. Story HERE.

Funnily enough, we recently commissioned an article by musician and writer Joe Jackson. A supporter of Forest and the campaign to amend the smoking ban, Joe now lives in Berlin. He is currently on tour but took time out to write an 800-word article comparing British pubs and German bars. Here's a taste:

I’ve always loved pubs, but just how awful they are becoming wasn’t completely clear to me until I relocated a couple of years ago to Berlin. While too many English pubs these days are soulless, generic commercial enterprises, staffed by people who clearly don’t give a damn, Berlin bars are often wonderfully idiosyncratic, and operated and patronised by people who clearly love them.

In my neighbourhood there are, for instance, a bar run by a Frank Zappa lookalike who brews his own beer, a surreal dive run by an Albanian refugee who has Gypsy musicians playing on the street outside, a bar where patrons sit outside in an ex-Soviet Army jeep, and the world’s campiest gay bar, whose walls and ceilings are lined with pink fur.

Many bars are just holes in the wall, furnished with flea market junk, but made welcoming with a few candles, a few flowers, some local artwork, good music or good beer. Most allow smoking, though some don’t and others have separate rooms. They also keep their prices reasonable, keep their vodka in the freezer, serve mojitos in the summer and hot chocolate laced with rum in the winter, and open and close whenever they like. And why not? We’re adults, aren’t we?!

Source: Taking Liberties

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