Slowly but surely I’m becoming a smoker. It’s not my fault. Cambodia is to blame. But let’s start at the beginning.
It started when we had to buy cigarettes for rolling joints. Because we couldn’t find any loose tobacco. By the way, you have to use yucky newsprint paper for rolling here. Anyway, we realized that Cambodia has the cheapest cigarettes on earth: They start at 500 Riel, which is not even €0.10! For a whole pack! In Germany they cost about 50 times that much! Admitted, it’s rough stuff, but that just makes it worse. Moreover, as a former non-smoker I have no idea how a “good” cigarette would taste. I used to find them all disgusting.
Then, the nicest people invite us for smoking here all the time. Everybody smokes. It’s not as if there’s a lot to talk since everytime we try to learn Khmer our brain explodes and hardly anyone speaks English. Plus, the people here don’t seem to talk much anyway. Cambodia is the kingdom of enjoyable boredom. So you sit around, drink a beer, and smoke.
Yet the final blow came with our latest guest house room. Luxury class – including our own bathroom. The drawback to the luxury is that in truth it’s just a john with a head high separation wall to the tiny room, so that you get to experience fully all the noises and smells. Thus Julian’s idea of always smoking one of those cigarettes we already owned anyway when shitting. An ingenious idea. But what a powerful conditioning. Only too quickly you get used to this comfortable habit. I just hope we’ll find a shared bathroom in Pnohm Phen.
Maybe it’s too late already. Now and then I catch myself feeling I want a cigarette. I could have never imagined this a while ago. This country is truly vicious. Well, at least I hope to get rid of the coffee addiction I acquired in Thailand – because Khmer coffee is certainly the most repulsive one in the whole wide world.
I have never been a smoker. I tried, yes. But I never liked it. In fact, I find smoking cigarettes rather disgusting. Then I went to Portugal, and met the deadliest drug on earth.
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