Hookah has been a long lasting "hobby" of mine. hookah played a decent part in my upbringing. Growing up in Cairo, Egypt literally everybody smoked hookah, sheesha as we call it, at least once in their life.
The variety of flavors is not only astonishing, but it also have a decent amount to say about the smoker. However, while the variety of flavors seems to be the obviously distinguishing factor in a person's choice in hookah, it's not! A person can have a usual, but still go out of their norm occasionally. However, a person usually only likes a certain pattern.
By pattern and holes I mean the way in which the holes are punctures through the foil that is under the coal. The pattern and the size of the holes can determine the draw and harshness of a person's hookah, as well as how well the tobacco burns. My personal preferred style is the "Arabic" style. This has one bigger hole in the center and then plenty off holes all around. It burns all of the tobacco in the bowl very well until it blacks.
From my experience in America, there are plenty of hookah lounges that only put a few holes, or even make a pattern. The holes are usually made that way to prevent the pull from getting harsh and the patterns for aesthetic value. There is a very simple way to fix a hookah if it becomes harsh. However, since hookah is not considered a tradition here, a lot of people don;t know what to do and end up calling over the employees at the store. Preventing the hookah from getting harsh by having less holes is a way to minimize the work on the employees as well as expanding the demographic of people who can smoke hookah.
Traditionally, fruity flavors are considered more feminine. Different flavors have a higher consistency of nicotine, or even a "harsher" flavor. An example of a harsher flavor would be double apple; which also happens to be my usual order alternating between that and double apple mint. Mixing flavors are also a thing. However, it is also considered a more feminine thing to do. Mint is a very common mixer with any flavor as it doesn't have a flavor as opposed to just a cool feeling.
There is another way to smoke hookah which I have yet to see in the US. In Egypt, we call it "Mu'assel." This tobacco is flavorless and very harsh. there is no foil covering the bowl either. Instead, the burning coal is placed directly on top of the tobacco in the bowl. This is considered the "manly" way of smoking hookah in the Arabic world. Most men, especially military, including my father smoke this at the cafes and lounges.
I will have another post later with information about buying a hookah, tobacco, how to set it up, and what to do.
I smoke hookah, a lot. I do not encourage nor recommend this. However, you do you!
From now on, i will upload a hookah flavor of the day as a suggestion!
Here is for today. 4/21:
Naturally, my first suggestion has to be my usual.
In 2006, I quit the vast majority of intoxicants. I don't drink, I don't use recreational drugs, I don't smoke tobacco, I don't drink soda, and I am working on quitting all sweets entirely, and largely succeeding. I am not one for fine dining, and not frequently one for other forms of hedonism.
I usually do not advertise this - I might write about it for people who wish to know what I do, but I do not bring it up in conversation unless it comes up. But occasionally it does come up, and a common reaction is someone saying, half-joking, "Then why bother living?"
I think I understand. Many people do jobs they dislike for causes they feel nothing about. This must wreak havoc on a man's spirit. Most people spend more of their waking time on their work than any other thing - I can only imagine what spending the bulk of my time on something I disliked would feel like. Or worse, not even something I disliked - but something I felt very neutral about.
If a man's occupation becomes a slow crushing of his spirit, then of course he would need high energy, and high impact to free him from it. He needs to fit all of his leisure into his remaining waking time - from 6PM at night to 10PM when he is home from work, on the two days of his weekend, and his vacation time each year. Of course, not even that time is all his own - he still has to commute, run errands, do admin, do necessary little things. The reality of the situation is far worse - most people don't live bad lives, they just move slowly and quietly through things they don't particularly care for.
Of course, if a man only had 5% of his waking time to himself, he would want to maximize this time in the easiest, most surefire way of producing pleasure and relaxation. Who could blame this man? I don't. If I was suffering through a soul-killing occupation and had very little time, I would want to make sure that the time I did have was very enjoyable.