health

Smoking killjoys

A tobacco shop sign in Italy

A tobacco shop sign in Italy / Lucarelli / Wikimedia Commons

In Italy, cigarettes and other tobacco products in that country can only be sold by designated tobacco shops called "tabacchi".

These outlets are ubiquitous and easily recognisable by very distinct blue sign with a large 'T' and the words 'sali tabacchi, valori bollati'.

The "sali" part goes back to days when salt was a government controlled monopoly. That's no longer the case for salt, but tobacco still is.

Biting the bullet butter

A monk pours butter tea in Tashilhunpo Monastery, Tibet.

"Have you got any butter?" I asked the barista at the Slow XS Lounge in Lanseria. He had just passed me a double espresso. "Sure," he said, and passed me a couple of single serve tubs. He then watched in fascination as I tipped both into the espresso.

"I bet you've never seen this before," I said. He shook his head slowly.

"Is that Bullet Coffee?" asked the woman in line behind me. "Sort of a poor man's version," I said.

"Why?" asked the barista.

"It stops you getting hungry," said the woman. "Exactly," said I.