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Old June 9th, 2008, 11:25 AM
Status: Offline
Hookah Newbie
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9
Default New here - with TONS of questions about what Hookah to buy....

Hey guys,

I am one of those neurotic people who research everything into the ground before I make a decision. If this is too wordy, I understand if you skip the post but if you have time, please offer advice.

So I was recently introduced to the hookah by a friend who took me to a little local hookah bar, and now I want one for home use. It was weird because I just quit smoking cigarettes, then tried the hookah and didn't even miss the nasty cigs. Wish I had found this sooner!

Anyway, I think I have ruled out the Maya, but Maya lovers, feel free to try to convince me otherwise. Mainly it is an authenticity issue - they seem so slick and modern and I love the cases and easy to clean factor, but they are made in China right? I don't boycott Chinese goods even though I have issue with their human rights track record because I guess it would be pretty damn hard, and my hubby and I are school teachers, so not rolling in the dough to buy everything fair trade. Mainly it is that the hookah did not originate from China and I just like the authenticity of a handmade item from a country where the hookah is traditional.

So for now, I think I am looking most closely at either an Egyptian (KM or non-name brand) or a Syrian. So if anyone has an opinions to share on the differences between the Egyptian and Syrian, please enlighten me.

Another thing I would love to hear about are Non-Name-Brand Egyptians. If you have one where did you buy it and how do you like it? I feel like the brand loyalty thing is so American and I am tempted just to buy a non-name brand on purpose to get out of my comfort zone. I think we are pretty obsessed with uniformity and quality control. Of course we all want something quality, but I don't want to assume that something is better just because it is a name brand item, you know? Any thoughts on this, please share...

So back to my hookah search, I think I want a single hose (or maybe double). What are the pros and cons of multiple hoses? I will most likely be smoking either alone, or with 1 to 3 other people maximum. I am almost tempted to stick with one hose, and just get 2 hookahs eventually, so if I had a group of 4 people, we could fire up two and have different flavors etc. When smoking with one person I actually like the passing back and forth aspect - it makes it more chummy somehow! And I would think that extra hose would just be something else to malfunction. So please share your experience, preferences, with the one vs. 2 or more hoses issue.

As far as height, I am thinking 22-30 inches. Not sure why, but the super tall ones seems sort of intimidating to me and I have 3 kids, so I figure it would be more likely to get broken or be difficult to store safely. So my main question is, do the super tall ones really smoke better or is it mainly for looks? Do you think a 22-30" hookah is sufficient to get a quality smoke?

Ice chambers? Yes, no, maybe so? I am totally neutral on this right now. Any converts want to share?

Hoses? From reading here and HD, I am getting the drift that people like to change hoses - so what is your favorite hose and why? Anyone happy with their original hose that came on the hookah? Do the fuzzy ones or the two-tone velvet ones get dirty or fall apart sooner - they seem kind of perishable to me?

Does anyone have concerns about the materials these are made of, from vases to hoses to stems to bowls. I mean is there possibly lead or other heavy metals getting into your system from using these? Not to be Debbie Downer, but I just wanted to ask.

I won't get into shisha yet, because obviously, that would take a dissertation length post, but any advice or experience you want to share on the above questions, please do.

Thanks - Josie
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