Re: The sad state of hookahs in Australia
Well not knowing the particulars of Australian import and taxation I'll just suggest a couple of options:
- Start a buying club with fellow hobbyists and have everyone pitch in. If it gets big enough you could set it up so that you can buy and import wholesale which would make the customs fees more manageable. Also it would allow for commercial importation, although that's probably way down the line if even on the table.
- Contact a reputable tobacconist with an organized list of what is popular, what the client pool is like and even its buying power if possible. After all while it may be difficult for specialty stores to stay afloat, but tobacconists that are already importing would probably be able to shoulder your added volume. I know I had no problems filling orders for exotic peculiarities when my customers needed it. After all it's a live market, there's a demand and a dwindling number of shops available to fill it.
- Set up a cycle barter with someone overseas.
- Arrange with a fellow friend somewhere more tobacco-friendly to keep you in steady supply. In small amount, regularly delivered it could work out to everyone's advantage (splitting shisha orders and such).
- Try making your own with locally acquired tobacco and some improvisation.
- And this should probably be further up the list, try one of the herbal blends sold by one of the vendors? I am not sure how well blending of the herbal shisha and regular shisha works out but I am sure with some fiddling you can achieve concoctions equally delicious to anything we can get here. After all if only tobacco is subject to taxation and you only get 250g of traditional shisha and 750g of herbal shisha that has to be more affordable.
Good luck whatever you decide!