There's this Thai restaurant I found, shortly after I moved to a new area. It's called Cats; I don't know why it's named after an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, but it clearly is, since they copied the logo and everything.

I loved the food there, especially the soup, seriously, if you ever go to a Thai restaurant you should have the soup, it's not like normal soup, it has this weird but really cool taste to it, and normally in restaurants you just think "oh I won't have soup, soup is just soup, I'd rather leave room for dessert" but in Thai restaurants soup is really excellent, and actually the desserts are mostly too sweet for Westerners anyway.

What I'm saying is, I used to think this place was great, and I'd take my friends there when they visited, and my friends would agree that it was great, and I felt kind of proud, like you do when you take someone to a good restaurant and they like it, which is weird because it's not like I cooked the food or anything, but anyway.

However. There was this one time, I took my new girlfriend there, and of course I extra specially wanted to impress her with my nice local Thai restaurant. It was a funny time of day, I think maybe lunch time, or maybe it was evening but earlier than most people normally eat, it doesn't matter. We were the only people in there, which is cool, I don't mind, kind of lacks atmosphere but you feel sort of special.

However. A couple of women, and a small child, came in a little while after we came in, into this empty-apart-from-us restaurant, and where do they decide to sit? RIGHT behind us. So that's already a bit weird, why not sit further away? There's room. So anyway.

They're chatting away, and the kid is doing stupid kid stuff, and it's annoying, but I'm thinking, never mind, they're just people, I can handle being around people, plus I don't want to look weird in front of my new girlfriend.

But then, they start smoking! Waving their cigarettes around, wafting all this smoke at us while we're trying to eat. It's like, I respect people's right to smoke, but why choose to sit right next to other people in an empty restaurant and smoke in their face? Smoke makes me feel nauseous, I think maybe because I used to get carsick, and my Dad would drive, and he'd smoke, and maybe I associate the sensations, and also I get nauseous from the smell of most perfumes and aftershave products, I think because my Dad would wear this strong aftershave while he was driving, and so I have to hunt for perfume-free deodorant or I make myself sick.

So I decide, let's just move! I ask the waiter if we can move away to another table, and we move to the front of the restaurant, and we enjoy the rest of our meal.

Until! The women finish before we do, and they have to walk past our table to leave, and as they walk past, right, one of them puts on what I think she thinks is a "posh voice", and she's like "ooooh, we don't want to sit with the common people, we're too good for them, we'll move to another table," and I think that she was making FUN of me, because my accent is kind of posh compared to hers, but then anyone's would be, because, and I'm not a snob, she WAS common as muck.

So I think "rise above it, rise above it," and I refrain from turning around and pointing out that it's not that I'm a snob, it's just that I don't like to eat with someone blowing their SMOKE in my FACE in an EMPTY RESTAURANT that we were in FIRST and they just DECIDED to come and sit right NEXT to me.

So the thing is, a Thai restaurant is a lot like a burger joint. And, you know, E2, it's a lot like a burger joint. In many ways I think, E2 is like a Thai restaurant. Sometimes it might seem like a good idea to go into E2 with your new girlfriend, but then some people might sit near you and smoke, and then totally take the piss out of you on their way out. On the other hand, the soup at E2 is really good, so it's probably worth going back some other time when there aren't any smokers there, like after they introduce the smoking ban, which actually I can't wait for.

This is why I've decided to quit E2.

I'll still drop in every few hours, and you'll see me in the chatterbox, and writing the odd node, but in essence, I am quitting. I just can't deal with the smokers any more, even though I like the soup. I always said I'd never write one of these dramatic "good-bye" nodes, but I realised that what I had to say about leaving is actually important.

Take care, everyone.

/me misses TenMinJoe