Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Betel Nuts Taste Like Soap and Make Your Spit Red and Sloppy

No one has a cell phone in Myanmar and unlike Indonesia and Malaysia, people rarely smoke. They do, however, chew the most disgusting package of mind-buzzing shit called betel nut.

They take a betel nut leaf and cover it with white liquid lime dipped from a caked white bucket. Then they sprinkle on some Indian tobacco or other brown substance that smells like incense. Onto this, they put the betel nut and wrap it into a tight cylindar.

Then you chew. It gives a quick buzz that's like smoking a cigarette for the first time and chasing it with a double espresso. And it tastes like soap. In fact, my mouth tasted like soap for a full 24 hours.

All the sidewalks are splattered with a dried blood-like substance which I discovered was the thick loogies hawked by all the locals onto any footpath in sight. After getting a few hard chews in, I joined in that tradition by emptying a few ounces onto the streets of Yangon. It appears like someone just punched you in the mouth and you're emptying and mouthful of bloody slop. It felt great.

I'm in central Myanmar at the temple region called Bagan, staying at a riverside hotel that was built in 1922 that overlooks the Irrwaddy River. It's full of loud Brits and French package tourists.

I'll upload photos when I get to Thailand.
Sounds like an interestingly complex recipe for a disgusting finish.

Tell me the reddishness is not your own blood.

See if you can take some home for the sailing trip.
Lonnie B, our paths did not cross before your trip as I was knee deep in Mexico whilst your doggie was knee deep in doo doo (as a note of sameness, we were depositing our poo poo toilet paper in a trash basket, which was grody). A belated Bon Voyage to you and Mrs. Bruner and we will talk when you return. Can't wait to trade photos.

Your pal,

Red Storm
Sounds like a new craze just waiting to take hold of the hipster crowd. I suggest you bring back a trunk full of Betel Nut and open up for business.
I bet your gypsy neighbors would love some!
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