La Casa Cubana: Cuban Cigars in Riyadh
My British boss here smokes two Cuban cigars every day. He's been here for 4 and a half years, and his logic is that smoking cigars is the one vice he can enjoy here without getting hassled by the Saudi police. Technically, smoking is "haram," -- forbidden -- in Islam, and the police here do accost Saudis and Muslim ex-pats when they're caught smoking cigars. It's just not common here and cigars are often mistaken for ganja or some other illicit weed.
Nestled away off of a busy thoroughfare is La Casa Cubana. I was blown away to discover this hidden gem in an otherwise very dull city. The shop only sells Cuban cigars. It sells all the major brands in a well-stocked, walk-in humidor.
Most of the cigars were still boxed so I wasn't able to inspect them to find the ring size and length I prefer. Finally, I asked for help and one of the staff pointed me to the Cohiba Maduros. I picked out six of them and left the humidor to purchase my little collection.
I didn't think I'd be smoking may cigars here, so I left my cutters and accessories back home. I ordered a cutter along with my cigars, and the shop owner gladly rang me up for the equivalent of $380! The cutter alone was over $100. This hobby is going to be an expensive habit, so my plan is only to smoke on special days. And tomorrow, 1 January 2014, happens to be a special day. I'll enjoy my smoke tomorrow. But for now, Happy New Years to everyone at home. Let's all hope that 2014 will be a happy and prosperous day for all of us. Cheers!