Shanghaiist hopes that Valentine’s Day 2007 went better for you than it did for us. We had planned, after dinner and drinks, to get drunk and screw, especially after watching the above sex ed video for inspiration.
However, we had a bit of a problem when, after dinner, we headed to 1001 Nights on Hengshan Lu to smoke the sheesha (water pipe) and have a small but potent cuppa Arabic joe.
Just FYI, this Shanghaiist once lived in an Arab area of the Middle East for two and a half months, and we smoked sheesha and had Arabic coffee just about everyday. You could say we lived off the stuff. So imagine our surprise when, instead of just feeling a bit light-headed after the initial tokes, we started feeling nauseous, as in “I really drank more vodka that I should have” type nauseous. Our significant other reported similar reactions.
We’ve given up smoking (five months sans cigarettes) and so we’re not sure if our reaction was just a normal reaction from someone not used to having sh*t in their lungs or if it was something particular to that tobacco, sheesha, or establishment.
Looking back, we realize that monogamy and giving up cigarettes has exacted a huge toll on our lives, and we don’t want to give up smoking sheesha as well. We’re wondering the following:
1. Other than Istanbul, 1001 Nights, and Barbarossa, what places are good for a nice quiet smoke? 1001 Nights’ sheeshas cost 45 yuan, Barbarossa, last we checked, over 100. Is this the representative price range?
2. Is there any place in Shanghai that sells sheeshas? In the US, you could get a decent looking one for about $80, though probably cheaper in hole in the wall stores. And what about tobacco?
All in all, not a very successful Valentine’s Day for us. If we had been in Beijing, we would have no doubt handed out flyers supporting gay marriage during the day. If we had known earlier, we could have also tried to get an iPhone Vibe phone-activated vibrator, or taken her to see the PLA gettin’ all lovey-dovey on us. We might also have considered putting a butterfly in a wrapped box, though the fact that their lifespan is only about a week is kind of depressing, though not quite as depressing as if your lover buys you a grave, as one 30-year-old Nanjing woman did.
At that point you’re not far from the situation many a pair of lovers in Lanzhou, who have made Valentine’s Day one of the busiest of days for private detectives.