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Lake Monster Moassel

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  #1  
Old June 10th, 2009, 04:00 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Lake Monster Moassel

As some of you know I’ve been spending a fair bit of time in Turkey and Iran on business and I’ve been able to get in a bit of smoking time. One of the more delightful parts of Turkey to visit is the city, lake and province of Van. After a very long a stressful day on business stuff I managed to foist off my workload on to my subordinate and take some time to drive around the lake and check out the famous Van Kalesi briefly. I got lost driving around the shores of the lake and eventually decided to stop and get something to eat at a little cluster of shops I came upon.

After a nice bit of Mayonezli Balik, heavy black bread and a horrible tasting soda called Uludag I wondered around for about half an hour and came upon a little wooden & clay café that had a picture of a stylized sea serpent drawn a billboard which I assumed was someone’s rendition of the celebrated and occasionally video taped creature of mystery. Naturally I went in hopes of finding monster memorabilia but instead discovered a bunch of people enjoying narghiles and drinking Bergamot oil flavored tea which appealed to me as a great way of getting the nasty taste of the soda out of my mouth.

Unfortunately I didn’t have my translator with me and my attempts at reading from my phrase book elicited puzzled looks and some snickering rather then my purchasing anythingthing. Luckily, a statuesque woman buying tea noted my predicament and was able to translate for me.

It turned out that the owner of the café makes his own moassel and was fairly incredulous that a large, old blonde guy knew what a narghile was let alone wanted to smoke one and buy some of his products. Naturally he suggested I buy cigarettes and that his moassel was “full of strength and only locals it” but he eventually relented and rented me a nice, well worn brass rig with a large leather hose featuring a wooden tip and watched with great interest as I set it up.

As is often the case with family made products the owner charges by the bowl and simply scoops the moassel out of an old milk churn with his hand, dumps some in a bowl which he flattens with his finger before dumping the contents onto wax paper which is secured with some string.

I passed a couple of hours smoking, drinking tea and eating candied fruit while watching the lake hoping to see the legendary creature. While the monster never bothered to show up I did enjoy the moassels highly. The first blend was tasted like a mix of Super Kass & Balkan pipe tobacco with an after taste of Bergamot oil while the second blend had a definite mix of clove, molasses and Turkish pipe tobacco flavours. In both cases the moaasels had very sticky, thick consistency and had a very relaxing, mellow character.

A cool tidbit I found out is that the owner built his café where he did because he claims to have twice seen the monster at that spot.


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  #2  
Old June 10th, 2009, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

Another great story from Hajo! I love reading these things.

Sounds like a very wonderful homemade tobacco.
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  #3  
Old June 10th, 2009, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

Only you Hajo...
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  #4  
Old June 10th, 2009, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

Very cool story Hajo, as always. When i read the title I thought our Lakemonster was making moassel! I was going to give him some grief over not getting a sample. LOL
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  #5  
Old June 10th, 2009, 05:09 PM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

lol, sweet story. That sounds like a sweet place.
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  #6  
Old June 10th, 2009, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

yet another great tale from our traveling correspondent Hajo.
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  #7  
Old June 10th, 2009, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

And once again I am a bit jealous. Sounds like a good time. I too was thinking that a particular member of this community had stared making his own products.
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  #8  
Old June 10th, 2009, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

God, you always have the coolest narghile related stories....
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  #9  
Old June 10th, 2009, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

I wouldn't say I'm jealous or envious but I would definitely love to have some of your stories! It just seems like a good meditational sort of experience and a way of getting back to certain roots.
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  #10  
Old June 10th, 2009, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

Good posting Hajo. It's always nice to read your tales/adventures in all things hookah.
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  #11  
Old June 10th, 2009, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

Great post as always Hajo!
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  #12  
Old June 10th, 2009, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

Hajo every time I see that there is a post by you I immediatly read it in the hopes that it will be a story like this. While I wish and hope that my future job will put me into situations like these I'm not quite there yet. But until that happens, it really is nice to live vicariously through your artful stories and use my imagination to fill in the tiny blanks your stories to don't relate. Thanks for that, and until the day I can live out things like this for myself please keep posting, they are great.
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  #13  
Old June 10th, 2009, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

Enviable experience! And so thoughtfully described, awesome!
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  #14  
Old June 10th, 2009, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

Love the story Hajo, I hope you are saving all you experiences somewhere because it would be great to look back on those travels years from now.
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  #15  
Old June 10th, 2009, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

i need to experience some of this stuff with you. sounds like a great time.
awesome story, as always.
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  #16  
Old June 11th, 2009, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

I'm starting to think we need to make a travel documentary series starring you. I'd be down for it.
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  #17  
Old June 11th, 2009, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

Quote:
Originally Posted by xin666 View Post
I'm starting to think we need to make a travel documentary series starring you. I'd be down for it.
now that u mention it, with all the hype that video reviews of products get, maybe hajo could bring a camera around and document some of these trips through a medium other than just words and post them here, as well as any others who r lucky enough to get these sort of opportunities,
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  #18  
Old June 11th, 2009, 06:09 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

I'm pretty surprised by the all the support and interest my business trips generate. Of course I do leave out all the boring crap like countless hours haggling over production quotas, logistics, power consumption and endless political/bureaucratic/economic forecasting blather so that helps I guess.

Some pretty neat stuff happened while I was hanging out at the cafe like meeting a local surgeon that has burns as extensive as my own but benefited from a far better grasp of English then my own. We had a good chat about tobacco/health issues and the evils smoking sugar cane. I really enjoyed eating baked black currents covered in an anise/vanilla paste and seeing the boats come in at days end. It was also cool to see men that work the river come into the cafe and unwinding with tea and tobacco. To me the toughest part of traveling to the places I do is missing a nice pint of ale with diner. Having hot tea or coffee after a long day of manual labour is totally alien to me.

Seeing the rhythms of life going on is always good and I get perverse kick from reading the surprised look on the faces of the patrons when they notice a stranger as exotic as myself doing something they assume I wouldn't know about.

As to stories, well, you guys haven't heard much since I've lacked the time to bang them out. One day i'll recount the penguins/skinhead/charcoal wrecking ecology adventure. Also, I had a great experience hanging out on a boat with this Avestan in guy in Babol Iran who I think knows more about Rocky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators then any man alive. That was something! Or smoking with a bunch of wierd bohehian types in the Underground Cathedral in the Wieliczka Salt Mine at 4am. Very weird way to pass the time.

Well, someone has to has to do this sorta thing stuff so why not me?
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  #19  
Old June 12th, 2009, 09:25 AM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

lmao, shoot Hajo !

(shoot as speak lol)
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  #20  
Old June 12th, 2009, 11:22 AM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

Hajo I think that you got the better deal my friend for here in the homelands we just get by
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  #21  
Old June 15th, 2009, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

Hey Hajo, Uludag is one of my favorite sodas I wonder which version of it you were served and whether it was fresh... I am assuming it was the stale stuff, since it is manufactured in Bursa, which is way more to the west of the country and to truck stuff to Van region takes a good amount of time. I live in Rolla, MO right now and everytime I go to St. Louis I stop by a place called global foods in order to get me and my now-trained-in-the-Turkish-tastes wife a couple of cans of Uludag soda.

If you ever happen to have a plan to stop by in Istanbul for one of your trips, please let me know in advance. I would like to meet you if I am there or at least I can arrange you to meet my brother who could show you the places that are off the beaten path.

Take care.
________
FORDSON TRACTOR HISTORY

Last edited by mack65401; May 5th, 2011 at 06:08 AM.
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  #22  
Old June 20th, 2009, 05:17 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cj Two A View Post
Hajo every time I see that there is a post by you I immediatly read it in the hopes that it will be a story like this. While I wish and hope that my future job will put me into situations like these I'm not quite there yet. But until that happens, it really is nice to live vicariously through your artful stories and use my imagination to fill in the tiny blanks your stories to don't relate. Thanks for that, and until the day I can live out things like this for myself please keep posting, they are great.
Thanks for the comment but keep in mind that my ob does have real draw backs. For one most of my travel time doing boring, stressful stuff that my livelihood (not to mention those of a bunch of other people) depends upon. Also with a job like mine you basically don't have any possibility of family life and you have to be on call to deal with client crap all the time. No upside without a down.
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  #23  
Old June 20th, 2009, 05:22 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

Quote:
Originally Posted by wicket_nirvana View Post
now that u mention it, with all the hype that video reviews of products get, maybe hajo could bring a camera around and document some of these trips through a medium other than just words and post them here, as well as any others who r lucky enough to get these sort of opportunities,
Video taping people would be a little off putting for me since I already look like Jonna Hex and given that it's all I can do to bring what I need when I travel lugging a video camera around would likely mean i'd forget something I really need. Besides, I never know when something worth taping will happen so chances are I wouldn't have the camera with me when I need it. Not to mention that I am verbal sort of person anyway so I do what works for me which is writing not taping.
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  #24  
Old June 20th, 2009, 05:25 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

Quote:
Originally Posted by mack65401 View Post
Hey Hajo, Uludag is one of my favorite sodas I wonder which version of it you were served and whether it was fresh... I am assuming it was the stale stuff, since it is manufactured in Bursa, which is way more to the west of the country and to truck stuff to Van region takes a good amount of time. I live in Rolla, MO right now and everytime I go to St. Louis I stop by a place called global foods in order to get me and my now-trained-in-the-Turkish-tastes wife a couple of cans of Uludag soda.

If you ever happen to have a plan to stop by in Istanbul for one of your trips, please let me know in advance. I would like to meet you if I am there or at least I can arrange you to meet my brother who could show you the places that are off the beaten path.

Take care.
I had the orange flavoured Uludag and I don't know if it was fresh but I do know it tasted fake and funky. I used to have a good buddy in Rolla but I haven't been there since I left the U.S.

I've not spent much time in Istanbul so it would be cool to get to find what is worth doing there. Thanks for the offer.
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  #25  
Old June 21st, 2009, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: Lake Monster Moassel

Best stories. I always enjoy reading them.
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