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Petit Joint 

I am Nadia and I smoke. To a greater or lesser extent. I have been smoking joints for almost twenty years now. It started in my puberty, hanging on the streets with other youngsters. During recess at high school. Preferably before history lessons or for repetitive homework such as French vocabulary. With a glass of rose in my hand on the beach of Scheveningen. After a busy exam week, while cleaning up the mess in my house. Gasping for air from all the salsa dances with an ice-tea for thirst. At every foreign destination where a joint ended up in my hand. At brainstorms for concepts, campaigns and business plans. During the build-up of big events and after important productions, openings or speeches. For activities where I need my full focus and concentration, I first need to perform before I can appreciate a joint. In creative processes, on the other hand, it can stimulate me. As with all the pleasures of life, finding a balance is not always a given for everyone. 


My first boyfriend taught me the art of rolling. Completely in line with my urge for independence. The rolling process is part of the ritual that I still really appreciate. That is why I was never able to make the definitive switch to a pipe or vape. I still prefer to smoke my self-rolled joints. My petit joints, or fun cigs, as I call them. Thin rolling paper, tight tipple with a small knurl in the middle, three-quarters of a cigarette and a few grains of hash for fun. Light enough, so that a drink doesn’t send me off to another planet, but makes me float at a comfortable height just above the ground.  


It is mostly the fun memories that have created the positive associations with smoking. The big laughs, the brainstorms, the spontaneous encounters, the chit-chat and the deep conversations. But also the brilliant ideas of which usually only a part is executed, and the rest ends up on the shelf indefinitely, together with all its potential. These are the conscious associations that perpetuate the habit. But it is the unconscious effects that you have to watch out for. Such as the temporary removal of emotions and feelings and the softening of the sharp edges of life. With help, you can temporarily relieve the pain, but that is no substitute for processing. We also have to look at reality with sobriety in the eyes, so we do not lose the connection with ourselves.  


For most recreational users, smoking was only part of their youth, but for me, it has remained a part of my life. The realization that has come to me more and more in recent years is that different stimulants have a different social reputation and acceptance. Meanwhile, in the diverse social circle I find myself in, I sometimes seem a bit of the odd one out with my habit. But if you stick around after a talk show or a presentation for the usual drink, then alcohol is not only experienced as pleasant, but there is also a social pressure to drink along. However, lighting up my petit joint could easily be perceived as inappropriate. But how does this image of what we consider appropriate and inappropriate arise? Even in a supposedly tolerant country like the Netherlands, the mind is not always as free as you might think. I’ts better to feel free and accept yourself and the space it gives you to accept others as they are. I am Nadia and I smoke. That does not make me inappropriate, rather self-willed.  



Nadia Duinker is a creative hospitality entrepreneur in Amsterdam. She set up club Canvas and Doka, among others. And was co-founder of the Volkshotel. She is also the owner of Amsterdam Roest and a cultural catering store called the Quarantine. On the Czaar Peterstraat she runs studio shop Re-bell together with her partner Blazinbell and for years she was one of the driving forces behind the liberation festival Vrijland. 


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