Free stuff — 12 Comments

  1. I keep meaning to buy a tobacco pouch but so far haven’t found one that ‘speaks’ to me. Weird, the entire time at college and after I used a 2oz tin but now find it is a hassle at least when out. Not sure neon blue would really be me either but that pouch does at least have the advantage of the ‘autoriders of sanity’ lies being discreet and in Greek so it could pass as decoration.

    Used to smoke ‘Prince’ sometimes, years back , didn’t know they were still around either.

    * is in a good mood because his cigarette papers have just this minute arrived *

  2. Although the photo makes it look bright blue, in reality it’s a rather subdued navy blue. Not garish at all. Yes, I was a little pissed that they had to put the warning on the front, but as you say, it’s small and discreet, and in Greek. In fact, it’s more or less what the first US warnings were like, in that it says that according to the Greek equivalent of the SG, smoking can seriously damage your health. Just that.

    I have in fact got a tan coloured leather pouch, but the lining is disintegrating unfortunately (why does this always happen to lined leather pouches?), so I was on the lokout for another. This freebie will tide me over until I find another leather one that I like. The biggest problem, as far as I’m concerned, is with the size. A bit like phones. I like to be able to comfortably fit my pouch (and my phone) into my pocket. My leather pouch is about 12cm x 6cm, and fits easily in my pocket. Most pouches are, like my freebie, about 16cm x 8cm, which is too big for most pockets. Same with these huge phones. All very nice with the big screen an all, but try to fit it in your fucking pocket! My phone, which I bought a few years ago, is a Samsung S5 mini. And I bought it not because of its bells and whistles (it doesn’t actually have many), but because of its size. It fits in my pocket. I too, years ago, used to use an old 2oz tin, but again, it’s bulky, and you can’t hang it over your little finger if you’re standing and rolling a ciggy.

    I used to smoke Prince for a while years ago. Nice cigarette, good flavour and a bit of bite. Still sold here.

    I bet those papers are that German shite – thick as cardboard and destroy the flavour of the baccy. 🙂 My favourites are the Dutch Rizla Blue. They call them ‘galazio’ (sky blue) here. If you ask for Rizla blue (blé), you get the English Rizla blue, which are ok, but a bit thicker than the Dutch ones. But I don’t like them too thin. The Rizla Silver are just too thin, like rice paper, as are many of the Greek brands.

  3. “I bet those papers are that German shite – thick as cardboard and destroy the flavour of the baccy. 🙂” Yep those are the ones, except they actually enhance the taste of real tobacco (ie dark and not at all girly). ‘course the ‘silage’ smokers among us…. 😛

    You might like ‘JOB’ papers. I made the mistake of buying a 25 pack box of them recently (trying to save some money cos those Muskote are 45p a single pack plus £4 P&P on the order). Back in my salad days, those JOB ‘double’ were one of the best (and cooooolest) papers going. But, as with Zig Zag and Rizla, they have now gone all ‘izal’ bog roll…thin, shiny and a right pain to roll, so just the kind of thing you like.

  4. PS. I hear what you say about big phones. I had a Samsung Galaxy Note for ages..until I realised I was still having to put my reading glasses on to use the bloody thing so I might as well save on lugging it around and get something pocket sized. I still use it as a digital camera though because the photo quality was better than my Cybershootme thingy. That’s the one downside with my current blackberry, camera is shite compared to that on my antique Note 1.

  5. I have two fresh sleeves, one from Merka and the other from Norway.

    The Merkin sleeve says that smoking can cause a slow and painful death – which in my book is better than a slow and painful life.

    The Norwegian sleeve has a picture of a blue foot and some writing from an Ikea catalogue.

    On buying the B&H from LHR, I had to go into a Special Room where the packets look like that stuff from the Convict Isle. The cow gave me B&H Silver, which I didn’t realise until I bit into them two days later.

    On a brighter note, I noticed many people smoking other things in LA. There is hope.

  6. Mmm….i think Greece, Austria, and Switzerland are the best countries for smokers. I can’t wait for my first ever trip to Athens in May to stock up on all those lovely George Karelias cigarettes !!!!!

  7. The Norwegian sleeve has a picture of a blue foot and some writing from an Ikea catalogue.

    The writing probably says: “DO NOT open the mirror doors before securing the top of the wardrobe unit to the wall.”

  8. Actually thanks to Nis’ blog I have even thought about a day or maybe even an overnighter in Greece (when the flights are cheap again) just after the summer season to stock up….make a change from Belgium and rain. The Greeks have how many thousands of years of civilisation behind them? So hopefully they have learnt how to make a decent cup of coffee in the meantime.

  9. Athens is great, but sadly has lost much of its attraction due to the influx of feral ‘refugees’. What was once one of the safest cities in Europe now has ‘no go’ areas where only the foolhardy venture.

    Touristy but very nice is Plaka, the old part of Athens below the Acropolis. Great to wander round, but pricey in the touristy bits. Great places to eat well and cheaply are the Turkish grill rooms which can be found if you walk through Plaka to Monistiraki – you can’t miss them – lots of outside tables and always busy. Lots of interesting ruins around Monistiraki, too. And when in Plaka, a visit to Brettos bar (Kidathineon 41) is a must. I used to go there a lot when I was in Athens in 1969, and when I had the chance a few years ago, I popped in again. It looked exactly the same. I remarked to the old boy behind the counter that it hadn’t changed much in 45 years, and he replied that it hadn’t really changed since the 1930s.


    You may find that in the tourist areas a lot of bars and restaurants enforce the smoking ban, because they get a lot of American tourists who tend to moan about that sort of thing. Get off the beaten track though, and it’s another story. The up and coming trendy area for bars (for locals) is Psyri, which is next to Monistiraki. I haven’t had a chance to investigate the area yet, but I’ve read good reviews of places there.

    In the blogroll in my sidebar, you’ll find a link to the ‘Athens Survival Guide’. This is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best guide to Athens you’ll find. The author is an American married to a Greek woman, and really knows the place well. He also understands the Greeks, which is vital if you want to spend time here. He’s been adding to the site for a long time – I first started reading it twenty or so years ago.

  10. Easyjet do a couple of flights a day to Athens as far as I know. As for coffee, it depends what you want and where you go. Greek coffee (which is really Turkish coffee, but ‘don’t mention the Turks’) is delicious, but difficult to find a good example of. Trouble with Greek coffee is that it takes a little time and a lot of love to make a really good cup, which most bars can’t be bothered with. They just bung the ingredients in a jug and hit it with the steamer on the espresso machine. The best is usually home made. (When I had a bar, I made a point of making good Greek coffee, and I had many a Greek customer tell me it was the best he’d tasted. Just having a little boast there…:-)). When I was first in Greece, the coffee landscape was very bleak. You had a choice of Greek, Hot Nescafé, or frappé (iced coffee made with Nescafé). The frappe could be very good – in fact it’s still a popular drink. Nowadays they’ve all got big shiny espresso machines, and most of them make a good cup of coffee in whatever variation you like (not a la Starbucks, just the normal range). In the summer, a favourite of mine is a capuccino freddo,