The Betel Nut ~ Zeigyo market, Mandalay
Jan 25 2002

A beautiful yet modest nut, the source of unbounded disgust. The Areca is chopped up, wrapped in a vine leaf with a smear of lime paste and chewed for its' mild stimulative qualities. The byproduct, copius amounts of blood red juice, stains lips, sidewalks and walls all over the country. Once popular all over Asia (evidenced by beautiful laquerware betel boxes prized by everyone from the royalty down) the habit is dying out, tolerated as a quirk of the elderly. Here in Myanmar the black teeth and red gums are abundent as chewing betel seems to be the male dominated national sport.

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nigel & julie snow