Saturday, January 30, 2010


hey everyone

well, rare is it that i do a post as keenly and excitedly as anticipated as this one is! Spiros has been rather eager for me to do this article for a while now, as indeed have the one or two others who i have let know that it was on the way.

Spiros travels around the world on an infrequent yet oddly frequent basis. whenever he lands on new shores, the first thing he tends to do is rush off and request that a taxi driver or other servant of the public rather urgently procure for him some of the finest fags that the nation he is in has to offer. now then, this approach has led to one or two rather curious misunderstandings in the past, but usually, if not invariably, he ends up with the finest packet of cigarettes the land has to offer.

as Spiros doesn't in general smoke himself (although he is partial to the occasional puff on something that is cherry, vanilla or menthol in flavour) he usually requests that i sample the wares of the tobacconists he has engaged in trade with. it is a duty i am happy to oblige my friend with.

first off it's the produce of a recent (well, sort of recent) trip to Egypt that i got to have a sample of. Spiros went to Egypt en route to getting a right kicking in Sheffield, England. i had a chat with him about Cairo not usually being a natural stopping off point en route to the land of steel, but he has always followed his own path.

as you can see from the image above, the name of the Egyptian cigarettes are rather tricky to work out. the Egyptians, perhaps in their wisdom, feel obliged to have an image of someone who has apparently fallen foul of the ills of smoking on the boxes rather than the brand name and logo as such. it looks like they are called Cleopatra cigarettes (for her name features on the actual cigarettes), but don't take my word for it.

aesthetically, the Egyptian cigarettes have white filters. this is usually a tell-tale sign that they are intended for ladies, or perhaps the members of the gentry who are good with colours and are good friends of Dorothy.

the scent of them was suspicious to the extent that it could have been possible that Spiros smuggled them in by means i'd rather not go into.

despite reservations, i took the plunge and ignited it. the scent was but a hint of what joys were to come, really. as far as i can determine, the contents of these cigarettes is predominantly the rejected on quality grounds dung of the most inferior, lower class beetles scavenging around the backside of rejected camels in downtown Cairo with a single thread of tobacco hidden in it to meet any trade description requirements in respect of what is and is not a cigarette.

what you see above is more or less how much of the Egyptian cigarette was consumed, thank you. it was soon put out, and no more shall i return to it. any smoker travelling to Egypt, no matter how ambitious they are, should consider ensuring that they have their preferred brand in abundance with them, quite frankly.

onwards, then, to Ghana. i don't recall exactly why it is that Spiros headed off to Ghana; probably a work related matter. needless to say, after the Egyptian failures of tobacco, i was reluctant to try more, but i owe it to you readers to have a go.

now then, in regards of confusing names, just what the hell are these called? as far as i can work out, the full name for them is 555 State Express Of London. that must have been one hell of a planning and strategy session to come up with that!

555 State Express Of London are apparently made by someone called The Ardath Tobacco Company of London. as the cigarettes come in a nice enough box (oooh, it's shiny!) and they look like they have proper filters (i know of no one called Dorothy), i went ahead and had a go with them.

not bad, not bad at all. 555 State Express Of London taste a touch like the Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes favoured every now and then by my other chum Sinbad. this is to say that they at least taste like cigarettes, if not quite my preferred Marlboro.

should you find yourself in Ghana, then, and short of something to smoke there would seem to be a lot worse things you could ask for than 555 State Express Of London.

well, there you have it. i have no doubt that Spiros will be on his travels again soon, so with some luck i will have yet more tobacco products to sample and review.

i suppose i should point out here that smoking is very bad for you, you shouldn't do it and all that sort of thing. well, if you are smart enough to surf the internet, to paraphrase George Carlin, you can work some things out for yourself!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!! send proper cigarettes to Egypt!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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