All the things that went wrong today:

We got Jackie’s passport back, with an invitation to go to the interview at the US Embassy on her behalf. Bucuresti is 600 km away. That will be Jackie’s first plane ride, at the end of June.

Today the traffic was particularly messy filled with road-rage drivers. People drive aggressively here and they get angry with those who don’t make way for them. Every single day. It’s exhausting.

On the way to pick J up from school. I went to inquire about a package, some books I ordered 10 days ago. I hadn’t received a slip to let me know to go the the post office and collect my package. The mailmen delivers mail on foot always, so they never deliver large packages. I waited in line, then the lady found my packed and tells me that I have to pay a storage fee because they sent me two pickup notes but I failed to come an collect my package. I told her that I have not received any notification but the lady at the counter said it’s not her fault. “It’s the mailman’s fault.” And if I don’t like it to submit a complaint. I told her I already submitted a complained about how irregular we get our mail, when my notification to take Jackie home in view of adoption was two weeks late. T

We finally made it home in the evening. We though we were done for the day and we went for a short walk. Bunica came out just as we were letting go of the stress of the day. She gave Rufus some bones and Jackie a hard sugar candy, right before dinner. Conrad told Jackie she can have it after dinner but then she cried her lungs out in front of the building, protesting that she wants the candy that Bunica gave her. Given our day so far, I was unfazed. But I wish it didn’t happen.

But the biggest of them all is this issue with smoking in our building, looming over us. Conrad made a *statement that wasn’t taken too well. Justifiably so I would say, but then I don’t like the cigarette smoke either and I expect a certain respect and curtesy in and around my dwelling place. We cleared it with the new smoking neighbor, but as kids gathered around the building to play, another neighbor joined us and lit a cigarette, and then another…

For the record, no matter how great your friendship with Conrad, if you smoke he will let you know he disapproves. And he doesn’t really care how he comes across. Blunt is his second middle name. On the other hand, I am a peacemaker and I feel responsible to balance him. While I believe in my way of being, I envy Conrad’s bluntness sometimes.

Growing up, smoking was associated with foul language.

It got me thinking. It is hard for some people to understand why smoking bothers Conrad so much. After a decade of living in California where smoking is prohibited in any public spaces (even parks, balconies, streets) the cigarettes are overpriced, and you pay triple for your health insurance if you are a smoker, months would go by without smelling the cigarette smoke exhaust. Can you believe there was time when smoking was allowed on airplanes or other confined spaces! – Preposterous.

It occurred to me that people who smoke or live and work around smokers, are quite desensitized. Can you imagine entering in a room and someone starts throwing f* bombs and other derivates. It would be a shock. I would exit the room. But if your friends occasionally swear, it almost doesn’t bother you. And eventually you don’t even notice.

I can almost put up with smoke. But cussing enrages me, mainly because in every language it actually promotes a rape culture.

That’s how smoking is for Conrad.