In part 1 of this blog I described my influences, the people that lead to me picking up a smoking pipe a couple of years ago.
But my connection with tobacco began earlier, much earlier.
When I was born my father smoked cigarettes. Shag to be precize, Drum shag. And I hated it.. I got sick when I smelled the smoke.. However, when I put my nose in the pouch I was delighted! I loved the odour of the dark Kentucky and bright Virginia.
Sadly around his 50th birthday my father got a heart attack and was forced to quit smoking. But he kept his last Drum pouch and occasionally sniffed the aroma of the contents.
Around my 14th year I got an interest in smoking. I was in love with a girl that played in the orchestra I also was playing in and she smoked. So when she offered me a cigarette I couldn’t resist it. I wanted to impress her but did not inhale the smoke. Not yet.. Unfortunately she fell in love with another member of the orchestra but my interest in smoking was aroused.
At that time I did not dare buying tobacco myself. But my father still had his last Drum pouch. So one time when my parents were away I managed to roll a cigarette (not easy for a beginner!) and smoked it. Also not over my lungs. What I did not knew at the time was that nicotine is also absorbed by the mucous membranes in the mouth. The result was that I got very sick. The world seem to spin around me and I hurled the contents of my stomach into the toilet. I solemnly vowed to never ever smoke again. Of course two weeks later when my parents were away once more I smoked again.
During the next years I started smoking more and more. First I managed to keep it hidden from my parents but soon got busted because my mother smelled the tobacco in my bedroom. They were far from happy but did not forbid it. After a while I began with smoking over my lungs and from year to year my cigarette consumption increased.
I liked smoking shag. Never ready rolled cigarettes. I liked the ritual of putting fresh tobacco in the rolling paper, roll it and then smoke it. I liked the pure taste of it, I never smoked with a filter. Brands that I smoked a lot in those years were Drum, Samson, Jakobs and my Sunday smoke was Javaanse Jongens. But what I not liked was that a cigarette only lasted for a short time. 5 minutes and then it was gone. I always wished for a never ending cigarette.
My shag smoking habit continued for several years until I was 29. At that time I had a girlfriend who hated smoking. I was madly in love and already grew tired long ago of the nicotine addiction and the damage I did to my body. So I quit from one moment to another. Not easy, but I did it.
For years I lived a smoke-free life until I started smoking again. No cigarettes this time, but pipe. Continued in part 3.