Photographer Frank Blum puffed contentedly on a hand-rolled cigarette in a cafe in central Berlin, blatantly ignoring a ban that went into effect in most of Germany this month.
"I'm smoking because no one's stopping me," Blum, 43, said from behind his laptop, one of a dozen customers happily smoking without fear. "The cafes aren't making it difficult."
Blum is just one of many disobeying a law banning smoking in public places -- cafes, bars, restaurants and night clubs -- in force in Berlin and 11 other German states from January 1.
Hmm, it appears that stereotype might need a little revision then.
However, there is one very good reason why the German authorities are being ver lax on enforcement here: there's still memory of the last large scale attempt to get Germans to stop smoking. A campaign started and pursued by one A. Hitler. Touchy subject really.