Friday, January 18, 2008


The start of my mission in Munich coincided with the introduction of draconian anti-smoker regulations. Bars, restaurants and cafés are now completely smoke-free as are workplaces and any public buildings. So this means that smoking is permissible only in your own home (and, I note with relief, in hotel rooms) or outdoors.

Although yesterday I noted that the winter is currently a very mild one, it is not the most agreeable experience to interrupt a restaurant dinner with a Marlboro Light moment between main course and dessert. However there is an upside here; that cluster of three or four recidivists on the pavement outside seems to me to hint at a new form of Social Networking in meat-space!

For what it's worth, in just two weeks my consumption of ciggies has been radically reduced by these pressures. No longer do I buy daily my two packs from the West Side Grocery in Khalidiyah (for AED 12, or just over EUR 2). Instead I pop EUR 4 into a vending machine and receive one pack. This contains only 17 cigarettes (to avoid having to set up the automats to give small change). For EUR 5 you can get a pack with 22 nicotine sticks! I am quite proud of not going for the EUR 5 option! Indulgence halved; cost doubled. The economics of smoking, as they impact on me, strangely resemble those so well known to expatriates working in the Sandlands - salary value decreasing, cost of living increasing.

No comments: