THE DARK SIDE OF HONG KONG NIGHT LIFE 1

When the Main News in Hong Kong devotes ten minutes on a subject other than Jimmy Lai, someone throwing dim sum at a thick-skinned CY Leung or the opening of another Umbrella Movement, one gathers it’s of relative importance. So, recently, when HKTVB Pearl produced a report on the popularity- and health hazards- of smoking shisha that included the usual “Anonymouses” with their voices disguised talking about being addicted to the habit, one could hear the bell tolling that the End Is Nigh for enjoying this “special smoke” in the numerous bars and restaurants in Hong Kong that have jumped on this trend as a much-needed new revenue stream with scant regard for anything else.

THE DOPE ON SHISHA 1

Smoking shisha in restaurants has already been banned in Australia, the UK, and many other countries, and without sounding like a party pooper, there’s nothing worse to spoil a dinner out than having tables close to you huffing and puffing on shisha pipes and the smoke and aroma wafting in your direction and seeping into your Mushroom Risotto or whatever it is you might be eating.

When there’s the sleight of hand addition of a little Nepalese hash going into the charcoal to spice things up, the smoke that hits you can leave you not knowing a Mushroom Risotto from Maccaroni And Cheese. Dave, man, is that you?

THE DOPE ON SHISHA 2

According to TVB’s report, serving shisha indoors is a definite no-no whereas what was surprising to hear is that inhaling this stuff is far more hazardous to one’s health than nicotine. The World Health Organisation has gone on record as saying that one shisha session is said to be the equivalent of smoking 200 cigarettes, something dismissed by The Charge Of The Shisha Brigade as being “alarmists”.

THE DOPE ON SHISHA 3

I really couldn’t care less what people wish to put into their bodies as it’s their temple to do with as they please, but what’s happening more and more in Hong Kong are above average restaurants, desperate for extra income, allowing in those with very limited spending power to occupy tables, pay for a round of drinks to go with their Shisha Sessions while sitting there for hours. It’s a cheap high and cheaper date.

All this does is turn a restaurant into a cheap hangout, which will eventually drive away those customers wishing to have a good dinner with a decent bottle of red without being disturbed by a table of yobs.

As for the spate of shisha bars that have mushroomed around Hong Kong like gremlins, seeing the local gendarmes suddenly making regular visits to check on their various licenses is a loud warning that the joys of shisha might soon be going to pot.

THE DOPE ON SHISHA 4

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