This node goes hand in hand with Packing the perfect Narghila head. Many Narghilot can be bought, in various different forms, and I will attempt to guide you through what you should and shouldn’t buy. Starting from the bottom, the bottle. First thing first, you want one that looks nice. Secondly, if you are anal like me, and prefer to have your narghila in matching colours, go for a blue one, as it's much easier to get blue hoses/heads/etc. You want a bottle with a good firm base that is unlikely to tip over. As for size, I tend to find that smaller narghilot ensure thicker smoke, and therefore more of a rush. Large bottles will produce a better flavour, although bottles which are too big will not produce thick enough smoke, for this reason avoid unfeasible six foot ones! It needs to be reasonably thick, so that it is transportable, and, for that purpose, I find the best method of transport is a cardboard box with packing peanuts. As you may have noticed, I'm quite serious about my narghila. When smoking, you really want to put ice in the bottle. This is so that the water is much colder. As you breathe in the smoke, more smoke is pull down from the head, through the water, therefore colder water condenses the smoke more, and ensures thicker smoke, giving better flavour and more rush (if that’s what you are in to). Moving upwards, the vent. Most narghilot have two spouts coming out of the base of the column, one is where you attach the hose, and the other is the vent. It is best to get a vent which contains a ball bearing. It lets in no air (which is good for smoke thickness), and is easily clearable by blowing gently through the hose. It is possible to get an attachment which can be fixed to the vent, commonly known as a de-dooh-dah, because no one has any idea what else to call it, which is fixed on by unscrewing the vent (making sure not to lose the ball bearing), and screwing the de-dooh-dah in its place. The de-dooh-dah enables you to fix a second hose to the narghila. Some narghilot come with two pipes anyway, but the following rules still apply. NEVER try to have both pipes inhaling at the same time, it just doesn’t work. When not inhaling, make sure you have your thumb over the top of your pipe, otherwise the other person will be inhaling air coming in from your pipe, and finally, if you have two hoses and one is slightly better than the other, always put that one into the de-dooh-dah, so it evens it out, as the de-dooh-dah is an add on and hence doesn’t work quite as well as the native pipe attachment. Speaking of which, Pipes Wouldn’t it be really amusing if I had lots of pipe-links in this bit? If you are finicky like me, you may want to try to get a pipe which is the same colour as your bottle, but it isn’t essential. By far and away, the best type of pipe that you can get is the camel skin pipe. These are bendy, and have no wooden attachment at the top, and end in a long metal mouth piece. The majority of narghila bars use only camel skin pipes (which is about the only thing that they do which is any good, but more on that later). If you can’t find camel skin, the other good type, which is known in my circle as the emperor, has a hand-moulded wooden handle at the top, with a short metal tip. The pipe itself is distinctly more rigid than most other types. These tend to be the two best types, but generally, if the seller is reputable, and you are paying a decent amount, most pipes should be decent. When buying a pipe, ensure that the pipe is airtight. You can do this by placing your thumb firmly over the bottom end, and sucking through the top end, and then repeat for blowing. If you can feel any leaks, this probably won’t be such a good pipe. Going further up, the Column If you want to pay a lot of money, it is possible to get columns with sand filters in them. There are pros and cons to these, they produce good smoke, but they are expensive and difficult to clean. Disregarding columns with built in filters, there isn’t really one type which produces a better quality than any other, so it’s really down to personal preference. Columns can be bought with attachments for multiple pipes (I have seen ones that can take 7 before now), but they suffer from the problems associated with multiple pipes as detailed above. You can buy narghilot with built in water chambers instead of bottles that swivel so that you don’t have to pick it up and rotate it. I have never used one, but apparently they don’t produce very good smoke, and, in any case, the same effect could be got by putting your narghila on a rotating TV stand. You can also buy screw columns, ones which unscrew into smaller parts for ease in transport. These can also be used to screw together several narghilot, to create silly ones, like the Third Temple Narghila. Other than that, a standard non-flashy one will do just as well, it’s really down to preference. The plate The plate, or ash-tray, usually hangs just below the head. It doesn’t affect how the narghila smokes, but I prefer to get one that fits to the column, rather than one that can slide around freely. The head Now, this is the real meaty business. First of all, you need to get a good head which is suited to your style of head packing. If you use the Syrian method, any bowl will do, if not, you may want to get a more shallow bowl, otherwise you will waste a lot of tobacco. Sometimes different heads are needed for different occasions. If you are inside, or outside where there is no wind, doughnut heads are the best to go for. These consist of a bowl sitting on top of a ceramic ring looking something like the below drawing, but a bit more rounded (I never was very good at art.) This has several functions. You can place the hose through the hole in the middle when carrying the narghila. The sides of the donut do not get hot, so you can remove it easily when you finish smoking, and finally, since it is that bit cooler, it condenses the smoke slightly as well.
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These will not work in a wind for two reasons, they fall off and break slightly more easily than normal heads, and wind shields generally don’t fit over them. If you want to be extravagant, similar doughnut heads with two and even three bowls can be found in the right places! These tend to have smaller bowls, and be fairly wasteful of both coal and tobacco, but are still fairly impressive! Two bowl heads without a doughnut, where the bowls are just in a line can be found, but they are less common than their doughnut counterparts. If you are in a windy situation, a windshield is a good idea (see below), so a smaller, normal, head will suffice, so make sure you go for a good quality one. Wind Shields Wind shields are very useful when you are in a wind, the only alternative being to construct your own out of tin foil which just looks silly. Make sure you get one with a sturdy handle, as they get hot quickly. Nice ones can usually be found fairly cheaply. The best places to shop for narhgilot are in the middle east, particularly in Egypt. In Israel, the best place would be the market at Daliat HaKarmel near Haifa, and, depending on your definition of the borders of Israel, the Christian market in the old city I think that’s it really, happy smoking!

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