Art Deco-ed as it was from top to bottom, our apartment in Buenos Aires featured, along with some classy prints, framed magazine images of the time. This one depicts a fashionable young couple cementing their bond by sharing a cancer-inducing moment. That toothy grip on their cigarettes looks absurd now, but it reminded me that from time to time I saw both my parents hanging onto their fags in this way.
No surprise, I suppose, that tobacco was sold as an intimacy enhancer. We can assume that, just seconds before, the gentlement struck a match then romantically held the lady's hand steady as she inhaled to get her cigarette going.
He was one kind of male smoker. Marlboro Man was another - a bloke with no use at all for female companionship or intimacy because he was never alone with his horse and a smoke.
BA is still rife with tobacco addicts. Now banned from offices, restaurants and milongas, they cluster around doorways, puff energetically as they dodge pedestrians and traffic, and monopolise the outdoor seating at cafes. Here are two of them.
|Man and cigar outside |
a Plaza San Martin cafe
|Young woman smoking outside|
a Calle Cordoba cafe