Sugar, Spice, & Everything Nice
Before we ordered our ghalyoon (the Iranian name for the hookah), I spotted a sign on the wall that read, "Attention: Women and youth under 18 are strictly forbidden to smoke." Meaning, neither women, nor minors, were allowed to smoke. Apparently, this law was only enacted this summer. I wondered why women would be restricted from smoking the ghalyoon, when outside, in public, they can be seen waving around their stinky cigarettes. My American friend, Leila, took a stab at an explanation and exclaimed, "Haven't you ever gotten high off hookah?" Um, no. But I can see how the possibility of women getting light-headed after a few deep inhalations, and starting to behave flirtatiously and out-of-control, could be a reason to ban them from smoking, altogether. No, just kidding. I still don't know why women, grouped with kids under 18, cannot smoke hookah.
Of course, young men and women were all smoking ghalyoon in the cafe, in spite of the notice, chatting and laughing, watching movies on their phones, and whispering sweet nothings to their dates. In other words, patrons did what they wanted, paying no attention to the signs. It became obvious that this notice was posted as a mere formality, a rule not meant to be enforced.
So, Leila and I, the only girls at our table, went ahead and smoked up a coconut-flavored storm. It was fun.