Thursday, April 06, 2006

Betel Nut Blues Again

This article on betel nuts here has been making the rounds....

It tastes bitter, turns your teeth black and causes cancer, but it also gives you a buzz and is served by scantily clad young women.

And that is why it is proving hard for Taiwan's government to get its heavy betel nut chewers, mostly blue-collar workers, to kick the habit despite the widely known health risks and the red stains left on the sidewalks where users spit out the juice.

Truck drivers in Taiwan, like their counterparts in China, India, Indonesia and elsewhere, chew the nut, which looks like a green olive, for the warming buzz and lightheadedness it gives them, helping them stay awake through long-night journeys.

"I just can't get enough of betel nuts because eating them is like making love to my wife on our wedding night," said Lin Shuei-wang, 58, as he popped into his mouth a betel nut freshly wrapped in a leaf coated with spices.....
And don't miss my picture page on Betel Nut Girls!

4 comments:

STOP_George said...

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I've tried it twice and it's not something I would get addicted to.

It tastes like black licorice. And the so-called "buzz" it produced was minimal. A nice cup of Starbuck's dark roast would give those truck drivers 100 times the buzz.

Now, if only we could have "Starbucks girls"...

Seattle -- are you listening?!!
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Michael Turton said...

I've never tried it in all my time here. Everyone says I'm not missing much....

Feiren said...

You might need to try it a few more times stop_george. The buzz can be much stronger than Starbucks, but you usually need to chew three or four in a row fairly quickly to get the full effect.

STOP_George said...

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Feiren:

O.k., but no thanks. I'll stick to my black licorice & Starbucks -- not as messy, aesthetically challenging or unhealthy. ;>)
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