Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures

Thank you for smoking


This is a sign from the tabacconist near one of the places I lived in Barcelona which always made me smile.

"Thank you for smoking. In moderation."

“Thank you for smoking. In moderation.”

I still kind of think about how much I miss smoking all the time, by which I mean that I don’t obsess over it but that if I could peel back the layers of my consciousness, I’m pretty sure the whole not-smoking issue would be close to the surface.

This past week, I’ve thought a lot about how I haven’t smoked since November 26, 2006 and it’s all Matthew McConaughey’s fault. That guy knows how to smoke, which is to say that he relishes smoking as much as I did. Seeing him on HBO’s TRUE DETECTIVE and in DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (for which he’s favored to win the Oscar) smoking the hell out of things is making me miss the days when I could just light up anywhere (even in a bank!) in Spain.

But then reality sinks in and I remember that being sick isn’t fun and that the pleasure I derived from smoking wasn’t enough to compensate how terrible I felt all the time so I just mute the sound and watch McConaughey light one cigarette off another and contemplate the injustices of the world.

Author: le cul en rows

I'm an American Spaniard, living in France. I like to tell stories.

9 thoughts on “Thank you for smoking

  1. Yeah, I loved smoking in Barcelona as well. When I first arrived you could get packs for one Euro and smoke while shopping in the supermarket.

    Oh, I wanted to ask you if you’re Catalan? Or did you just live in Catalunya for some time? I remember your post on the Caga Tío.

    • I remember being all “Sweet! I can smoke on the bus!” and then being totally disgusted by all the smoke on the bus. I was glad when they made the switch in 2006 to no smoking in most public places. It was pretty rank.

      And my fam’s from a different part of Spain but I lived in BCN as an adult for five years, so I like to think that I’m una mica català on the inside. I know more words in Catalan than I do of my “native” region’s so I do feel more connected to them. Plus, their food is better.

  2. 1493 days, cigarettes not smoked 74,610

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