Maybe it’s the lengthening days: it feels like I’m emerging from a journey through a gloomy and cheerless landscape.
Last night, with Michael, Julian, Malcolm and wee Paul to a restaurant just to the back of the Kibir Hotel. Moorish tiles and lattice work: what visitors here might expect to see. The ‘t-bone’ steak wasn’t that good: seriously overcooked – there is no concept of ‘rare’ vis a vis a steak here, you can have medium or well done. Hmm. It was good to get away from the Al Wahat for the duration of a meal, mind. AND, it was noteworthy that the meal cost us, roughly, 20 Dinars each. The bloody awful food here in the hotel – which the company pays for – comes out at 30 Dinars a meal.
This morning, still revelling in my depression’s disappearance, I went out in search of a hubbly-bubbly pipe to buy. A great success. I got one ‘complet’, that is, with all its bits, for 30 Dinars, plus a bit more for cherry flavoured baccy and some self igniting charcoal. Splendid. Set it up on the balcony and had a blast. Unfortunately, it’s four months since my last pipe, and it went straight to my head and bowels: I had to lie down for a bit, and then make a dash for the lavvy.
The thing is with tobacco, it’s got so ingrained into our culture because of its addictive quality and because Capital saw it could use that quality to make trillions of bucks, that we’ve lost sight of it as a simple herb. And let me say from personal experience: it banishes constipation. Within ten minutes. Hilarious, eh? Glad I didn’t have the first-pipe-in-ages in a café – this is a bad city to get caught short in.
Also, in this form, it’s much less addictive than tabs. You can’t keep a three foot, 7lb object in your pocket, for one thing. Anyway, I’ve long suspected that the baccy multinationals put something, apparently innocuous, into ciggies to make them far more more-ish than heroin. But let’s not get started on those murderous bastards on a lovely spring North African day.
Not sure about the cherry tobacco, though. I’ll get some apple to take home. I’ve had that before. Loopluuk has mentioned having had strawberry, and they had that in the shop, but it seems a bit, well, girly. Maybe I’ll get some for Fiona. Or am I being a fruit-tobacco chauvinist?