Today was slow as compared to yesterday, but we’ll start in the usual way. I woke up really late today, I mean really late, at half four in the afternoon, it was so late that the light was in fact fading already. The only reason this doesn’t really bother me is that I was planning on taking today off, taking it easy and going out for a few drinks with friends.
After getting up I got a shower and shoved a cottage pie in the oven, I had to have something in my stomach to drink on top off, all nights end badly when you’re drinking on an empty stomach. It went down pretty well and considering it only cost a measly pound was pretty nice, I’d eat it again, it was at the very least something to fill me up. With this in mind I finally decided to wander out into town; I hopped on a bus and travelled to a bar called “The Merchant”.
The Merchant is a pretty classy bar, it’s not somewhere where you’re going to get silver service and Martinis served whenever you click your fingers but it’s certainly not a dive of a place either. It’s pretty nice, on the high street but despite this the drinks were cheap tonight, so we mostly stuck to cider and black. I had decided that I was out for the duration of the night, the last few times that we’d been out it had always been me who went home first, call me a wimp, but tiredness and alcohol always got the better of me.
Tonight, however, it didn’t, tonight I was the one who was most likely to be last standing and after we’d been duped out of a bottle of vodka on a pub quiz and one of our number had decided to retire for the night, myself and Bennett decided we wanted to try something new.
A typical shisha pipe.
It’s perhaps more widely known by the term Hookah and it’s something that we’d never done before and since neither of us felt like continuing drinking we decided to roll the dice and go for a pipe. It was… novel- to say the least.
When we arrived I’ll admit it ‘appeared’ to be a somewhat shady affair, after Bennet had picked a flavour we were lead upstairs into a faintly lit room where the smoke hung thickly in the air, all of the curtains were drawn and there was quiet Arabic music playing in the background. In my eyes it could have just as easily been a drug den. (Is that racist?)
In any case we eventually got settled down and were passing the pipe back and forth; it wasn’t what I expected at all. I had expected it to be a harsh draw, the sort of sensation that one might experience when puffing on a cigarette, but it wasn’t like that at all! It was sweet and smooth, it tickled your throat at times but once you get used to it, it was fun. It’s such a social atmosphere and the whole way that the place is set up is very conducive to chatting with both friends and other people and best of all.
You could actually taste the watermelon!
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though, it has a downside.
The downside is the health risk. It’s fine to say that alcohol in any quantity isn’t safe nor is smoking a single cigarette, but what about a hundred cigarettes? It is estimated that one session of shisha is comparable to the nicotine and tar of one hundred cigarettes. That’s startling and more than enough to scare me.
I don’t know if I’ll do it again, especially considering that one hundred cigarettes a week is damn close to a pack a day! Shisha could be something that we do every now and again, perhaps once a month or so, but it certainly isn’t safe to be a weekly thing.
All in all, it was an enlightening experience and if immortality were a simply choice I might behave differently, at least in moderation I can minimize the health risks and enjoy my nights out for many decades to come.