My mother has smoked most of her life, and I thought I would bring her some cigarettes from Beijing, China. I personally have never smoked, so they had no appeal to me.
As she had worked in southern US tobacco fields all her life, she knows something about different kinds of tobacco. I wondered how the Chinese varieties would compare to what she smoked now.
Acquiring the Chinese Cigarettes
If I was going to have these for her, I needed to buy some cigarettes before I left Beijing to come back to the States. Going down to the Lucky corner market right next to the Holiday Inn Express Temple of Heaven, I looked over the brands available. There were several brands in the display case.
Hmmmm. Which brand to get? I asked the attendant. He directed me to the Liushuiyin brand from the Shanghai Tobacco Group Co, Ltd. He said there was also a brand that was associated with Chairman Mao, but that they were much more expensive, and very strong. The brand he had directed me to at least had filters.
If you are wondering how much the different Chinese brands cost, I honestly do not remember. If I find out later, I will update this post.
Be a cheapskate, or spend more to make sure my mother would hate them? Tough choice. The “cheap” part of me won. 😀 Plus, I did not want to accidently kill my mother. She needed a fighting chance. Liashuiyin cigarette pack purchased and stored for trip home.
Presenting the Chinese Cigarettes to My Mother
Christmas came and I decided to spring this “pleasure” on my mother then. Having returned from China the month before, I made sure that I took them with me when visiting my mother for the Christmas holidays.
I think I gave them to her on the second day as one of her Christmas presents. She did not quite believe I had gotten actual Chinese cigarettes for her. She was intrigued … and a little scared.
My Mother’s First Chinese Cigarette
She opened the pack of Liushuiyin cigarettes and examined one. Looked like an American cigarette. The filter was definitely there and looked correct. Time to “light it up”.
She lite the cigarette, put it to her lips, and took a small draw on it. She exhaled with a relieved look on her face. “Those ain’t that bad”, she said.
She took another puff, maybe a little deeper than before, and then her eyes got big.
Cough, cough, cough, whezzzzz
After she finished coughing and caught her breath, she said “That first puff fooled me”. With that said, she put out the cigarette.
I did get her to try them once more, but only a puff or two. After that, I could not get anyone else at her home to try them. She got to the unsuspecting first, and warned them.
UPDATE: One of my friends just tried one. They thought it tasted like “a stale Marlboro”. Reminded them of cigarettes from Mexico. I guess my mother would not like Mexican cigarettes either. Hehe.
Her Opinion in Her Own Words
Here, in her own words, she describes what happened and any desire she has to try another one.
What Happened to the Cigarettes?
She did not want them, so I brought them home with me. Thinking that I could get more opinions from other smokers in the future, I kept them with my other Chinese souvenirs. So far, no takers. Maybe I should quit telling them my mother’s story before asking them to try one.
Share this, and comment below concerning your willingness to try a Chinese cigarette. Would you try one? Would you do this to YOUR mother?
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