To get out of my comfort zone I went to The Hookah House on Massachusetts Street and spoke to the small groups of people that were there Wednesday night. While pretty much all of the people there were my peers in age and as college students, they were not the type of people I usually associate with.
At first, it was difficult to approach people as I didn’t want to impose on their comfort but once they got talking I really enjoyed listening to the things the smokers had to say. I started off by just trying to listen and remove myself from their conversation but it was awkward to be sitting just listening to strangers so I started to probe a little bit and ask questions.
The main issues that came up dealt with young adulthood and the frustration of being independent but limited by rules in regards to drinking. Several groups told me that the reason they came to The Hookah House was that it was 18+ rather than 21+ so they could have a place to go out in the evenings or on weekends where they were allowed. They all enjoyed smoking hookah but I found that it served as more of an aside to the social aspect of going out with friends than as a primary activity.
A lot of the other issues that were shared had to do with stresses from school, work, relationships and juggling several or all of those things. Conversations side-tracked to politics and television which illuminated the social differences between myself and the hookah smokers.
In all, it was a rewarding experience and gave me an alternate perspective on a group of my peers and I enjoyed the roughly hour and ten minutes that I spent at The Hookah House.
One story idea that I thought would be interesting to pursue is the issue of minors in a college town. What do those that don’t have a fake I.D. or choose not to underage drink do for entertainment in a place so saturated with a culture of drinking?
Another idea to pursue would be the history behind hookah and what caused it to grow in popularity in recent years. I’m sure the management of The Hookah House would have some good insight on this.
Finally, a story on the misconceptions about smokers or the accurate perceptions of those who smoke tobacco could be an interesting look at a portion of the population that doesn’t get a whole lot of coverage.