Cupping my hand around my pickle green lighter, he sputters, then produces a steady stream of fire. I have to roll down the window of my brother’s car to catch the stream of smoke, the dusty ashes flying back into my face.
“Smoking’s annoying”, I say.
“Yeah” my brother responds.
“So, tell me again where you got your vape.”
“Got it on eBay.”
“Oh cool! Can you show me which parts to get?”
“Oh yeah. Sure.”
Thinking the search for a stick battery and matching tank couldn’t be that hard, I reach for my tethered phone and open up eBay. Haven’t been here in a while. Looks like 2003.
Search term: vape battery
Results: Good lord! This doesn’t make any sense!
Candy colored batteries with different voltages, fully-built vapes with suggestive form factors, strange contraptions that somehow enhance the vape experience. I thought to myself, I just want something simple and rechargeable that doesn’t look like one of those, well, you know. Too much for a girl to ask?
“So, dearest brother, tell me again what brand of tank to look for? And the battery? How important is the voltage?”
“It’s simple sister.”
“Actually, it’s not, but tell me what you bought.”
“Kangertech tank, eGo twist battery.”
I grumble and drag my feet outside to take a smoke break. That first drag brings me some solace, then I acknowledge the irony of needing a cigarette after some vape shopping.
Round two. Disillusioned, I return to the prehistoric eBay. k-a-n-g-e-r-t-e-c-h dredges up a multitude of tank sizes. It takes some clicking, but I learn that most are machined to the same 510 specification. Well, glad I don’t have to worry about that, or something. I opt for a MINI protank 2 NIB and feel accomplished when it shows up in my shopping cart.
Next, the battery. Skin, skin, lanyard, skin, variable voltage battery twist hookah shisha pen vaper. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME!? A single imaginary tear runs down my cheek, and I click a listing that basically looks like it might be a battery and isn’t shipping from China.
Crossing my fingers, I read the description. To my surprise, it all seems to check out. Add to cart, I say, and it is done. 2 days of wait, and my nondescript items arrive and I hastily screw the parts together and borrow some air freshener-esque orange e-juice from my brother. Thankfully the battery already had some charge. Those first few puffs were quite satisfying, just satisfying enough to make the process worthwhile. Despite all the aggro, I can say that I’m loving the vape life! (though I do miss pickle lighter just a smidge).