Most Americans would be incredibly upset by the fact that these gentlemen are smoking in proximity to the ICU. But they are looking through their "American lens". This is what we do when we travel. We expect things in other countries to be the same as they are in the US. We get upset when people don't speak our language. We get upset when the toilets are not like our toilets. We expect business to be conducted the American way. We expect table manners to reflect the decorum to which we are accustomed. We expect service with a smile. But it's not necessarily that way in other countries, and particularly not in China. That is what makes travel exciting, fun and a little bit scary.
Many of us Americans believe that when it comes to health, there should be some uniformity. Again, this is our ethnocentrism speaking. And frankly, we can't even agree to what healthcare means in our own country.
I was unconcerned for my mom. In her lifetime she has been exposed to a lot of second hand smoke. This was not going to kill her. I chuckled to myself and desperately hoped that they wouldn't notice me taking their picture. The scene was too good to be true. Although the picture is fuzzy, the idea is there. The ridiculousness to us Americans is clear and it highlights our ethnocentrism. As a frequent traveler to China, I must embrace these idiosyncrasies in their entirety. I must view life through the Chinese lens, even if it means I accept men smoking in ICU stairwells.