as i mentione before, we spent some time trying to buy some hookahs for liv. by now, we’ve searched in 3 different countries, and probably about 6 or 7 cities. we’ve dug through tons and tons of them.. every possible shape, color, size, etc. over the last two months, we’ve become almost experts on them. you would think that buying a hookah should be a relatively easy task… but it’s really not. there’s no such thing as a set price, and going to different shops, you’d get wildly different prices on the same exact hookah. every store owner will tell you that their prices are high because they only sell the best goods and that all the other shops are inferior (riiiiight). to make matters more confusing, the glass part which is the most visible part, is actually the *least* important part and is easily interchangeable.. the actual important part is the metal part, and the material that the hose is made out of. and to top it all off, 95% of all the hookas around here are either blue or green. liv was hoping to get a red one, and those are few and far between.
the best hookahs we’ve seen were probably in syria, but due to a fluke, we were never able to buy hookas there. the hookas around cairo were a bit less interesting, so we really had to scope out a bunch of shops to find a good one. and, to make it even *more* difficult, we had decided to buy 2 for ourselves, so now we needed to find a shop that sold *4* good ones! it was a daunting task, but finally we found a shop that did. of course, the owner immediately launched into a speech about how we had *such* good taste and that we picked the absolute best hookas possible and that for such fine quality we would definitely have to pay a lot. great. he started off by giving us a quote of 1,200 egyptian pounds and we countered with an offer of 450. of course, he really wasn’t pleased. the arguing went back and forth. us claiming that we’ve been shopping for hookas for weeks now and know what a fair price is, and him claiming that the prices we got earlier from others were for inferior goods and that his are worth more. it was a true battle of wills.
a while later he had dropped down to 760 pounds, and we had come up to 650… both of us saying that this would be our final price. at this point, i really started gettingh worried. i SO just wanted to get this over with. we had already spent almost an hour putting together the perfect combination of hookas, and i desperately didnt want to have to go to yet another store. at the same time, i really didnt want to be ripped off. of course, it’s really tough to tell whether his price was fair or not. was 190 pounds per hookah fair? that seemed like a lot to me… but maybe these really were better than the cheaper ones? or maybe they weren’t and we were paying almost twice as much as we had seen in other places. finally, after a bit of thinking, i told him i would meet him halfway at 705 or we were leaving. thank god, he agreed. in the end, we got all 4 hookas for $117. of course, how much it will cost to ship them is a whole other story!