Tuesday 9 February 2010
This is betel nut, a favorite vice of Taiwanese men. It grows on a kind of palm tree, and is wound up with leaves and lyme and maybe other stuff, I don't know. Men chew it (mostly old men) to get a buzz, like cigarettes. It keeps you up, so it's popular with truck drivers and night shift workers.
It also makes your spit red, which, after years of chewing, turns your teeth and whole mouth red. So you see men walking around spitting this gross bright red stuff that looks just like blood, marking the sidewalks and filling cups. Ugh, it's so gross.