Smoking is still considered a necessary part of a Portuguese persons well-being. Like breathing, sleeping and farting, smoking is just an unavoidable part of living. In fact, I’m pretty sure most Portuguese would say they would stop breathing, sleeping and farting before they gave up their beloved smokes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a cigarette hating goodie two shoes – I smoked for the best part of ten years and I still do enjoy the occasional ciggy in the right situation – but being here in Euroville reminds me what it used to be like in times gone by; going to the bar and coming out smelling like an ashtray, enduring other peoples smoking mid meal in a restaurant, and generally waking around through a grey whisping smog of burning life. What’s really crazy is when you start noticing benign everyday goods like hand soap and cured meats smell and taste of cigarettes…

Evidence A.

This is some meat I bought for a sandwich but has a taste similar to the contents of a pub ashtray at closing time. You know the taste, we have all eaten the contents of an ashtray once or twice. It seems like fun at the time when you are two sheets to the wind and the dares begin, but the real loser is you because you are eating the cigarette butts and lung burning ash, no matter how much money you win. Remember how hard it is to get rid of the taste? Then why would you make the food you eat smell like the cause of your cancerous demise? It would be like washing yourself in cigarette ash. Oh wait…

Evidence B.

Well, say you go to the washroom to wash the smell of cigarette smoke from your hands and face, the last scent you want that hand soap to be is cigarette stubs. Well this hand soap smells exactly like that. So weird. I’m not kidding, it really is the smell of burning tar sticks distilled into a pink viscous goo.

Next post will be a less negative towards Portugal I promise. It’s a great place in many respects…especially if you are a moody old bugger who loves smoking. No wonder so many retired Brits move here.

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