As cigarettes creep towards a whopping €10 a pack in Dublin, and Budapest begins to get used to the new smoking laws, I’ve only now discovered something I’d love to have known about, were I still smoking.
For the last few days, I’ve been sharing my flat with a painter who has been doing and continues to do trojan work on my wood. He’s a lovely lad who actually knows what masking tape is! He has a body-wracking cough but intends giving up smoking when his second child is born in December. At least, that’s what I think he intends. My Hungarian is being stretched to its limits and it’s not beyonds the bounds of reason that what he’s telling me and what I’m understanding are two completely different things. But then, I can say that about most of my interactions with the opposite sex. I have to admit though, that I’m rather enjoying the experience – having to use my Hungarian, that is. Perhaps I should just take myself off to some tiny village where English has yet to be heard and immerse myself in it all for a week or two. Am sure that by the end of it, all those language lessons I’ve had might actually start to bear some fruit.
But I digress. Back to the fags. I’ve never been able to roll my own. I seem to lack the required dexterity. It’s not that I haven’t tried. I have. And wasted a lot of tobacco and papers in the process. So when me man showed me his set-up, I was well impressed.
The initial outlay for the gadget is less than €5. The bag of baccy is about €8 and the box of ready-rolled cigarette papers with filters is about €1.50. So, once you have the gadget, you can knock up a carton of fags of the price of 20 in Dublin.
It reminded me of making sausages in my grandad’s butcher shop, many, many moons ago. I’m not really into gadgets but something this nifty would almost make me take up the fags again. Almost, I said! And yes, I know. Someone is going to tell me that this contraption is as old as Methuselah and that I’m sooooo behind the times. So be it. Just think of all the things that are old hat to you that I have yet to discover. Sometimes it pays to be a dinosaur. And sure isn’t it the simple things in life that give the most pleasure.