Wait. What are you doing?
I haven’t paid attention to what states have banned smoking in restaurants and bars and other places, but it’s always a bit jarring when I find myself in a place where it’s still legal to smoke indoors. For instance, one of those places is the town of Biloxi, Mississippi. I’ve been here 48 hours and it seems like a nice little town. I haven’t seen much to be honest.

Last night I went out with some people for dinner and then to this wacky invite-only bartenders-only DJ music drinking vodka thing (known as a “IOBODJMDVT” in the industry). Before dinner, people are smoking in the bar. Literally, I had to stop myself from saying, “Wait! You can’t smoke indoors! You’ll get in trouble!” over and over. Then we get to the bar for the party and everyone is smoking. It was also quite warm in there and a constant blasting from a fog machine so I tried to step outside often for fresh air.
How they roll in Mississippi.
Of course the issue is that I’m traveling across the country for like ten days straight for work. I spend a great amount of time and brain-power planning on how I can pack everything and get the most out of the least packed. But, holy crap, if suddenly a jacket or pair of pants stinks because of frigging cigarette smokes, that’s a bit of an issue.
There are solutions. Nicer hotels do offer dry cleaning. I could buy fabreeze or something. Steaming everything in the shower helps a bit.

I didn’t plan on cigarette smoke.

Pre-Smoking Ban
What a pain in the ass that was - at least clothes-wise. If you went out to a bar on a somewhat regular basis, did that mean that our clothes always stunk? I can’t remember. Did I just have to do laundry more often? Did my apartment smell?

Which states ban smoking?
List of states with smoking bans.
Internet to the rescue! This internet is full of information.

Lastly, I’ll admit that I had no knowledge about the town of Biloxi before I got here. I’m not sure I could have told you what state it was in. The first morning I was here we were driving around and I’m blissfully unaware of all these empty lots that are on the main road next to the water. Just empty and overgrown lots. Yesterday afternoon, when I wasn’t harassing a large water beetle (I say “water cockroach” but I keep getting corrected) that was swimming underwater in the pool, I found myself on the computer looking at photos and videos from the Katrina disaster. The before and after photos of some of the buildings, houses, and neighborhoods were just so incredible.

I then came across that one video that I remember from the whole Katrina disaster. It was a guy who had camped in a parking garage and was just filming the storm rolling in. I had watched this a number of times before and only yesterday did I realize that this was shot in Biloxi and that the building next to it was the hotel I’m currently sitting in (although I think it was gutted and/or tore down and replaced). The place where I had lunch was under 10 feet of water as was the stupid intersection nearby (I say stupid because it seems like people can’t judge the curve and I keep hearing squealing wheels).


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