"Have you tried smoking shisha?", said the airport agent as I checked into my flight to home. For a while, I didn't know what to say as the question was totally unexpected. "Haven't", was my response.
From what I know, shisha smoking is a tradition held in the Arab world. It is the result of tobacco mixed with fruit bits and bundled into a neat sensation and more interestingly smoked through what they call a hookah. Last October, after a dinner cruise in the Bosphorus in Istanbul, my colleagues took me around a menagerie of riverside bars frequented by local rich kids smoking shisha. I was asked if I'd like to try which I politely refused not due to any lack of adventure but perhaps due to exhaustion over the last few days of sheer work. With that spontaneous airport question today and then looking back to Istanbul, I thought that I may have then missed an opportunity.
Apparently, the shisha question posed was prompted by a group of middle Eastern tourists lining up with the adjacent counters. I however thought that shisha was an interesting and knowledgeable way of opening up conversation with a passenger. Novel indeed. Some more exchanges between us [being from my own country of origin too] suggested flirting with me but I simply let it go anxious to get going with my long trip to home.
Au revoir mes amies et a bientot mes cheres.