Monday, January 30, 2006

The proper way to smoke a sheesha...

Hooray for completing another 101 in 1001! Friday evening I went to the very exotic (perhaps more exotic than any restaurant I actually ate at in Turkey) Cafe Istanbul for some surprisingly delicious food (though beware the belly dancer... I found her quite disconcerting) The food was great but it was shisha I came for. The last time I did shisha was as an eight year old in Pakistan. I remember the village elders sitting regally upon the manji's as they smoked their hookah.. My dad, noticing my wide eyed fascination, indulged me a few puffs. The memory of my ensuing coughing on the acrid smoke ensured my smoke free status during the most tempting years. Still- despite this, sheesha held its allure... 18 years later, Friday evening the intrigue was finally actualized (though it took me back approximately 18 years reminding me why I don't smoke). Now... though I technically "sheeshad" my technique was rather... lacking as it was noticeably unchanged in the past 18 years. In contrast to the waiter (a.k.a human chimey) who exhaled from his mouth, nose and ears *I* supposedly held it like a cigarette and puffed in a rather square fashion... well "if at first you can't succeed.. try try again" right? (PS: I didn't inhale) (P.S.S: apple flavored is yummy).

Random Addendum

I just read Shabina's post and it touched me. She talks about people who don't even try because they are scared to fail. She had two touching quotes: "What is to give light must endure the burning" and "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" Sometimes we live as though its a dress rehearsal, but as Surah Asr admonishes, time is life and goes trickling by never to return. I'm not too scared to try in most areas but one part of my life I hold so dear that the thought of trying and failing paralyzes me to inaction. My dream is to write. To this end I purchased the "Writer's Market" guide to publishers and wrote out ten query letters to magazines with pitches for my ideas. But that was in July and the letters are still sitting unprinted inside my computer. Sure I joke "when I'm the next J.K. Rowlings.." all the time.. but doing something about it? The fear of rejection paralyzes me. Perhaps I inadvertently rejected myself. How elementary a concept yet how very enlightning.

25 comments:

Sdit. said...

I can't believe I'm the first to comment and not the 31st! ;)

We own a shisha but unfortunately enough I'm anosmic (no sense of smell and very weak tastebuds) and therefore cannot enjoy the finer qualities of it!

Also not a smoker...usually come off choking upon each inhalation!! :D

Aisha said...

oh wow, i've neer hear of ansomic before. Is it somthing you were born with or developed over time?

I'm not a smoker either, an I too came up choking after each inhalation :)

Sammy said...

You can get hooka online for $20. It's cheaper than going out for it.

Hasan Mubarak said...

I thought Sheesha's quite different to the traditional Hookah that we have here in rural Pakistan.

Still, haven't tried it. This may be the last time I say it...

Shabina said...

Ew to sheesha.

Aw, jazaks for the shoutout. Girl, you already *are* a writer, and mA a very talented one. GO FOR IT!!!

Southern Masala said...

We went to that Cafe Istanbul place last year and I smoked the shisha for the first (and probably only) time. It is nice to say that you have done it at least. We will probably never go back there because the belly dancer girl tried to pull my husband up and make him dance with her. He was like no way. It was way too stripperesque.

say what? said...

You know, I am afraid to try cigar/cigarette because I am afraid I will choke.

:(

Send them letters you :D ..

Aisha said...

Hasan you might be entirely correct that shisha and hookah are entirely different things. I'm basing it on my memory and in my memory the hooksah was the same as the sheesha though in my memory the hookah was enormous. You're prob right though. Let me know if you try it! :)

Shabs your vote of confidence means a lot! Thanks sis.

Southern Masala, yeah i didnt like bellydancer... I had to keep myself from gaping in shock! lol. We just ignored her and she didn't pull any of us up... BUT I didnt like it because the music got so loud when she came in you couldnt talk.

TDH- you mean you've never done hookah? I thought every Pakistani had tried it at least once! I dont blame you or not doing it. It was fun but not something i'd do everyday! :)

Raheel said...

Shisha is harmful for health and most people don't know that it has toxic chemicals.

I tell this to my students too. First try and if you fail its normal. If people laugh at it, don't give a damn because afterall you are the victim and they're supressing your zeal and confidence.

Mia said...

I tried the sheesha in Egypt last year and as a none smoker choked! However my friends refused to give up on me and by the time I left Egypt I was doing it without choking. One of my friends out there just sent me one as a birthday gift and it is sitting unused in my room. I still don't like the smoking but it is a beautiful object.

As for Random Addendum, I feel you on that sister. By nature I am a painfully shy person and have had to force myself to come out of my shell. Nothing is more paralyzing than the fear of failure. Still life wouldn't be as sweet if we didnt take chances. By the way my vote is for Brazil.

Champ - Love Hound said...

Never tried it, though I 've heard that Apple flavor is not for first time users. Don't go near that again, ok?? LOL!

About second part, I'm one of those people who never give up, Ever. So I say Try 'n' Try again. *Smiles*

God bless you.....

momyblogR said...

OK. Whatcha smokin' girl? It's been a look time since I've used something that looked like that.....and when I did, it tasted NOTHING like apples and made me feel stupid, lol!

Aisha said...

Raheel thanks for your encouragement. And you're right shisha isn't good for you. Trust me I wont be doing it regularly:)

Mia.. yeah I choked on it too! :( You're right our greatest achievements are made when we break out of comfort zone.Thanks for your vote on Brazil. I'm leaning there too!

Boxin :) thanks for the advice

Momyblogr: It's apple flavored nicotine!! lol. I felt plenty stupid smoking it... but maybe not in the same way you mean lol :)

mystic-soul said...

Dear Aisha

I have a 2 brotherly suggestions for you.

1) Instead of going traditional way via publisher (half are crooks), publish your book in a web site form. Atleast it will give you a good start. And web is such a powerful medium that more and more readers are moving from traditional book to web.

2) Start writing articles for magazines/local newspapers

In any case, I will be an extremely unhappy person if you fail to try.

Again THIS TALENT SHOULD NOT GO WASTED.

Baji said...

Tee-hee, you might have to be careful about writing about this adventure. You don't want people asing you whether or not you inhaled :-)

say what? said...

Call me a very geeky paki!

Seabrook Crisps said...

sheesha is brill!
i go when i can maybe once a month? but the thing is i do believe its toxic coz it gets to my head... here in uk sheesha cafe days are numbered as a no smoking ban on eateries will effectively shut them down....

Jane said...

I have smoked from a hookah but in all honesty what was being smoked was NOT apple flavored. I think we all have some secret dream we are afraid to attempt. I know I do. I hope you find the courage to send out those letters. Good luck to you if you do.

Aisha said...

Mystic thanks for the advice and encouragement. It was actually your advice that sparked the thinking and Shabina's that ignited it...

Baji:) It's just nicotine... all legal! But I didnt inhale :)

BBCA, welcome! you know they have a no smoking ban in Atlanta but sheesha bars have exception permits. Maybe they'll do that in England too..

Jane, thanks for the advice :) I printed out my letters last night and plan to mail them in today.

Baraka said...

Salaam!

I love sheesha - I brought a beautiful one home for Basil from Pakistan. And double apple tobac is the way to go :)

-Baraka

Tee said...

I haven't tried a sheesha or a hookah - thanks for the interesting lesson. It sounds like a fun thing to try. What did you eat at the restaurant? (A belly dancer would have made me uncomfortable as well. Who wants to see that when they're eating especially? LOL.)

What you shared with us from Shabina was definitly very touching and inspiring.

wayfarer said...

DH told me about the belly dancing there.... I wanted to try it out but didn't for that reason... How is the food though?

wayfarer said...

Oh...and the hooka/sheesha - fun! I got my first islamic lesson over a hookah lol...but that's another story for another time. ;-)

Champ - Love Hound said...

Aisha Dear! few days ago I heard a Paki song. Hoka Pani Bund Ho Gya. I think one time use can't make it "bund".

*Smiles*
God bless you....

Aisha said...

Baraka thatnks for the tip! :)

Wayfarer the food is GREAT. particularly the chicken sheesh kebob. The belly dancer is distracting but she isnt there the whole time. I prob wouldnt take a kid though b/c its very loud in there but if you get a babysitter I recommend it!

Tee-- Turkish people know their kebobs if you ever go to a turkish restaurant you can't go wrong going with any type of kebob ;)

Boxin :)

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