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Smoking Jurak in Masouleh

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  #1  
Old May 5th, 2010, 11:37 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Smoking Jurak in Masouleh

Iíve been spending some time in the Gilan province of Iran working an effort to sell a cement as well as a glass plant and itís been extremely busy and stressful. The good news that I was able to verify that they have the ability to do great skin grafts the provincial capital of Rasht. Although Rasht is a lovely city itís also very modern and a bit to commercial for my taste.
My translator is fellow named Hushang who is quite amazing since he speaks the local tongue
(which is called Gileki) as well as Azeri and of course Parsi and English. What is rather amazing about the province of Gilan is how varied it is with jungles, rice paddies, beaches and mountains. Although my time has been spent on business for the most part I have gotten to a good deal of today and yesterday checking out local environs while waiting for people more important then I to show up and get site reports and such.

In any case, I got to hang out in Masouleh which is a town literally built into the side of mountains where streets and roofs are the same thing and buildings just flow into each other. Itís a bit of tourist trap but fantastic nonetheless. Masouleh reminds me of the cliff dwellings of New Mexico but more amaing in that people actually live and thrive here.

One of the cooler things that happened is that I got to sample of the locally made jurak which is called "joy of the mountain" and I have to say that the name fits. Itís not at all like the super powerful 20%+ nicotine jurak that one hears so much about but rather an extremely complicated blend of tobaccos taken from all over Iran and neighboring countries like Azerbaijan. The tobaccos are seemingly equally mixed air and fire cured varieties which are blend and smoked jointly. There are also some spice notes but they tend to be secondary which is how I think juraks should be. What I have is a very relaxed, rich, heavy flavour profile that is as complicated as anything Iíve tasted. Quite honestly, Iíd have to say that "joy of the mountain" is as refreshing and as satisfying in terms of taste and texture as anything Iíve ever had.
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  #2  
Old May 6th, 2010, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: Smoking Jurak in Masouleh

Hajo, your posts always put a smile on my face.
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  #3  
Old May 6th, 2010, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: Smoking Jurak in Masouleh

it must be amazing getting to experience so many varieties of cultures as well as their tobaccos
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Old May 6th, 2010, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: Smoking Jurak in Masouleh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewzi View Post
Hajo, your posts always put a smile on my face.
seriously! idk what it is, but his writing just keeps me so interested with every post.

anywho, that sounds pretty awesome hajo! do u know where i might be able to track some of this jurak stuff down in the states? i would love to try it.
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  #5  
Old May 6th, 2010, 01:35 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Smoking Jurak in Masouleh

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Originally Posted by Drewzi View Post
Hajo, your posts always put a smile on my face.
Thanks man! I certainly love Masouleh and everything it has to offer. I wish some of you guys could experience some the stuff I have.
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  #6  
Old May 6th, 2010, 01:38 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Smoking Jurak in Masouleh

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Originally Posted by Avii View Post
it must be amazing getting to experience so many varieties of cultures as well as their tobaccos
Funny thing is that a family I met here is led by a guy named Avii and he;s a great guy. I experiencing stuff that is far removed from consumerism/junk culture schlock since it makes me fell a little better about the world and life in general.
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  #7  
Old May 6th, 2010, 01:46 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Smoking Jurak in Masouleh

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Originally Posted by swaflyer1 View Post
seriously! idk what it is, but his writing just keeps me so interested with every post.

anywho, that sounds pretty awesome hajo! do u know where i might be able to track some of this jurak stuff down in the states? i would love to try it.
Thanks for the kind words. I suppose my life has it's interesting periods and when something neat happens I like to let people know about it.
As for jurak, well no one sells it anywhere in the Western world as far as I can tell which is really something given that literally hundreds of great jurak brands are around that are made in large quantities in various corners of the world. In any case I have been working like crazy to find a really good jurak that I can provide at cost to HPers so that you guys can experience the stuff I write about. If I can pull it off i'll make a thread about it like I did with rare moassels like Contentment, Khansar, Shooting Star, The Pride of Al-Qamishli etc.
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  #8  
Old May 6th, 2010, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: Smoking Jurak in Masouleh

Oh wow really? didnt expect it to be an actual name seeing how its just shorthand for my full name && yeah thats true it seems nice be away from modern american society hence why i plan to spend sometime in alaska just something about it calls to me && i would love to in the future visit places overseas such as japan && i may just take a trip to the middle east & sorts
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Old May 6th, 2010, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: Smoking Jurak in Masouleh

Hajo, my friend, you need to write a book. I wish I could travel with you sometime, see the things you see.
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  #10  
Old May 6th, 2010, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: Smoking Jurak in Masouleh

What type of set up are the locals using? Bowl and coals are what I'm mostly curious about.
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  #11  
Old May 6th, 2010, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Smoking Jurak in Masouleh

Hajo your posts/ journies are amazing!
I love reading them bc you have one of the most unique lives I've ever read about
So jealous!
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  #12  
Old May 6th, 2010, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: Smoking Jurak in Masouleh

where can i get my hands on some jurrak?
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  #13  
Old May 6th, 2010, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Smoking Jurak in Masouleh

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Originally Posted by ariberns View Post
where can i get my hands on some jurrak?
I've been trying for some time Ari.

As I understand, no distributors are importing it, which is a shame.

I heard that Shanaku was trying to make some, but I haven't heard anything about it since.
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  #14  
Old May 6th, 2010, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Smoking Jurak in Masouleh

Sounds awesome, good sir. And it's definitely a shame we can't get a hold of any 'round these parts. Erm, continents. Hemispheres.
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  #15  
Old May 7th, 2010, 01:10 AM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Smoking Jurak in Masouleh

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Originally Posted by hookahslisk View Post
What type of set up are the locals using? Bowl and coals are what I'm mostly curious about.
In Gilan province it seems that a typical Persian ghalyoon which is rarely used with moassel. What makes a ghalyoon different that a narghile is rather extensive but mainly it's that the mainsteam (and often the downsteam) are made of wood, they lack purge valves and typical have bowl better suited to jurak or tombac. The few bowls Iíve seen in Gilan province are wide, shallow and unglazed jurak bowls. From what I have seen of the Middle East everyone that is not in a huge city smokes locally made bulk coal that they start with an old fashioned clay charcoal starter that looks sort of like the terra cotta porch heaters they sell in the states. The only thing that seems a little different about Gilan then how jurak is smoked in the rest of Iran is that the locals seem to have wooden tubes rather then hoses connected to the ghalyoon although I canít say if that is typical since I havenít been here long and I donít know many people.
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  #16  
Old May 7th, 2010, 02:34 AM
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Default Re: Smoking Jurak in Masouleh

Wow, Hajo. I love reading your posts. I think you just added another Destination on my travel list. Thank you.
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  #17  
Old May 7th, 2010, 03:55 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Smoking Jurak in Masouleh

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryon View Post
Hajo your posts/ journies are amazing!
I love reading them bc you have one of the most unique lives I've ever read about
So jealous!
Thanks for the nice comment. I should point out that actually about 90% of time is mundane/stressful and I only write about all the cool stuff that happens. My trips are usually uneventful but travel is exciting from time to time. it's nice to see societies that don't revolve around consumerism and pop culture banalities yet still are technologically modern.

One thing that I like are how accepting Arabs and Iranians generally are of not just foreigners but even people that look like me and lack language skills. I also like the civility and slower pace of life in this corner of the world. Obviously aspects of local life in the Middle East don't suit me at all but on the whole it's a great region to spend time in.
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