Last night my best friend gave birth in Larnaca General Hospital.
The Cypriot Way of giving birth is totally drug free. She was in labour for around 24 hours, and suffered all the contractions without any drugs. No gas and air, no epidural, nothing! The midwives marvelled at how brave she was and said if she was a Cypriot woman she would have had 2 cesareans by now!
The stress of seeing someone you love in so much agony was enough to drive anyone to smoke. So much so that her mother who had given up smoking as part of her 2012 new year’s resolutions, took out her electric cigarette and began chuffing away. If you have seen one of these before they are a clever gadget to help you quit smoking. They are metal but look exactly like a real cigarette. They operate electronically so you charge them up, then when you inhale on the tip the end lights up and the capsules inside which contain nicotine even give off ‘smoke’. They are very realistic. Well they fooled the nurses because one of them approached her and told her to put out her cigarette! She proceeded to show her the electric cigarette and said its not real. Its not real smoke and it is fine to ‘use’, people even use them on aeroplanes.
The nurse’s reply was ridiculous, hilarious and downright mind-boggling; “I’m sorry, you still cannot use it, as the other Cypriots will think its real and they will all start smoking.“…Just take a minute to let that sink in. Her statement says many things. It says 1) Cypriots are stupid. 2) I’m stupid. 3) We’re all stupid. How can that possibly make sense? If society is that stupid where they see someone someone ‘smoking’ a fake cigarette that they then think, hold on, im in a maternity ward, with new born children entering the world, and mothers ready to drop, but i’ll light up a fag anyway, then we may as well all pack up and go home and stay at home for the rest of our lives! I mean come on nurse, give us all some credit. How can she insult her own people like that? I mean yes, sometimes we can all be a bit stupid, but our people are not that idiotic! It’s true that the Cypriot’s cannot be told where to smoke.
People still smoke in clubs, and bars and caffenes, but they have observed the no smoking ban in restaurants. I think the Cypriots have done well considering and I refuse to believe that a Cypriot would spark up a fag in a maternity ward.
So giving birth here as opposed to England means that my friend is still in the hospital and hasn’t been chucked out straight away, and she is waiting for all of us to visit her today after work. No doubt there will be food galore being passed around her bed and loud laughing and lots of ooing and ahhing at her new baby. I can’t wait! I might even spark up a fake cigarette to celebrate!