[Elfsea] Hookah

Sluggy! slugmusk at linuxlegend.com
Wed Aug 20 08:02:40 PDT 2003

Siobhan Ni Fearguis wrote:
> There is actually a club in San Antonio that 
> has a back room full of hooka pipes.  Very cool.

In my limited experience, there sometimes seems to be a bit of stigma 
about the word "hookah", apparently bringing up images of opium dens and 
other such taboo behavior. This is too bad, for nothing is quite the 
same kind of relaxing as sitting around for an after-dinner confab 
around a pipe, laughing and sharing a fruity shisha together.

In short, the apparatus consists of a (usually) metal top, a properly 
fitting bottle and a long hose with a suitable nozzle at the end. The 
shisha bowl at the top is loaded with tobacco, usually protected from 
direct heat by punctured foil. A lighted chunk of pure carbon charcoal 
is placed on top of the tobacco.

When the user draws on the tube, very hot air is drawn from the 
charcoal, through the tobacco, down a tube through water in the bottle 
where it is cooled and somewhat filtered, then back up through the tube 
to the user. The smoke can be either simply tasted or inhaled.

This method of smoking tobacco is rather pleasant, especially compared 
to any other method that I have tried (bearing in mind that I am not 
otherwise a smoker).

It is, however, still smoking tobacco.

Several restaraunts of Middle Eastern cuisine offer them as a desert 
activity, generally for about $10 per load. Byblos (Lebanese) in Fort 
Worth is one example. I think I've had one at a place in Dallas, but I 
don't remember just this second which one it was :)

Also, the pipes, various flavors of tobacco and the proper charcoal can 
be purchased from most Middle Eastern grocery stores, such as 
"International Food Land" in Arlington (on Cooper, 1700 block). I 
recommend the medium or larger units because they have a larger base and 
and much less likely to tip over when you are passing the hose around 
the table.



"We have almost forgotten how strange it is that so
  huge and powerful and intelligent an animal as a
  horse should allow another, and far more feeble
  animal, to ride upon it's back."

                                 Peter Gray

"The horse. Here is nobility without conceit,
  friendship without envy, beauty without vanity.
  A willing servant, yet no slave."

                                 Ronald Duncan

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