He's never been abroad, this is his first time.
To prepare for the trip he sent me an e-mail.
"I'll also be in Holland for two weeks. Should I bring along my trusty brier? Do they allow smoking over there, or are they as crazy as the Californians? Do they have any blends that are worth smoking? I've been told that Clan is the very best pipe tobacco in Europe".
Clan? Clan by Theodorus Niemeyer?
Who told you that? And why do they hate you?
PERFUMED PUKE IN A POUCH
I sent a short and to the point answer to his query.
"Clan Pipe Tobacco (by Theodorus Niemeyer) tastes like tooti-frooti and gasoline combined. Why they decided that shredded sand-paper would benefit from such treatment is beyond me - smoke one bowl of this miserable overly aromatic crap, and you could chew barbed wire without flinching it will pull such a number on your mouth. Good lord man, it smells like an elderly harlot, and will leave your mouth raw and oozing puss like a case of oral clap. Do NOT buy it! If you do, you won't even finish the bowl, you'll toss both the freshly ruined pipe and the remainder of the pouch in the garbage pail in your room, and the hotel will then charge you for disinfecting the premises, as well as the exorcist they'll need to expel the demons.
And afterwards people will still wonder why you wash with urinal cake.
If you WANTED to inspire suicidal or murderous tendencies in little girls and sensitive strangers, reeking of Clan Pipe Tobacco (by Theodorus Niemeyer) is the surest way to do it, as well as inducing nightmares and weeping fits. Vile is far too weak a word to describe it; it is proof positive of depravity, a foul perversion, the Nazi jackboot of tobaccos, an exceedingly nasty and un-Christian smoke, and loathsome in the extreme.
Clan, by Theodorus Niemeyer, is cruelty and sadism combined in a pouch. It is the shredded pimp chest-hair of tobaccos. Feh!
If you smoke this putrid blend (Clan, by Theodorus Niemeyer), your eishes chayil will demand a divorce and custody of the dogs (you can keep the damned cat, she won't stay with you anyway), and I myself will personally testify on your spouse's behalf.
If absolutely necessary, we'll hire someone who has a baseball bat. You will regret this.
There are plenty of things to satisfy your oral fixation in Holland, but Clan pipe tobacco is NOT one of them.
Dutch cigars are quite delightful - De Oliphant, Hajenius, Oud Kampen are excellent brands - and as far as food is concerned, their deep-fried unidentifiable objects are sheerly wonderful. The coffee is good (even though most Dutch coffee brands are now owned by Sarah Lee), their gin (Genever) is more than drinkable in lieu of American liquor, and they do have some very decent beers (not Amstel or Heineken).
Put herring and Belgian ales into your face. Eat a frikandel. Have some oliebollen.
The bakery products are excellent. And there is superior Indonesian food to be had in most cities.
There is even candy, some of it quite bearable.
But for your own sanity stay the hell away from their pipe tobacco (especially Theodorus Niemeyer's blends - Niemeyer is the manufacturer of Clan).
Purchase some Samuel Gawith Best Brown instead - you will offend the average Dutchman because what you are burning smells and tastes like the real stuff, but seeing as you can't smoke in cafés anymore anyhow, scant difference. Screw them. The trauma ain't worth it."
Before he left, he sent a response to my advice.
Happy to oblige.
Hope you enjoy your trip.
On a related note, I purchased two new pipe tobaccos today - 'Haddo's Delight', by G.L. Pease, and 'Old Dog', by McClelland.
Haddo's Delight consists mostly of Virginias, with Perique, black Cavendish, and air-cured ribbon.
Old Dog is aged Virginia, black Cavendish, Oriental leaf, and Latakia.
Both blends are described as 'smelly', and have their eccentric aficionados.
I'll let you know if I become one of them.
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