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Word Travels - Behind the Scenes- Taiwan by Julia Dimon
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Behind the Scenes- Taiwan
by Julia Dimon / Published January 7 2009
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Taiwan: Julia Tries Betel nut
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The job of a travel writer demands that you try new things. While I was working on a story about young, scantily-clad women selling betel nuts, I figured I had to try one for myself. No way I could do a story about the vendors without first trying the product Betel nut is a known carcinogen that is chewed throughout Southeast Asia. A symbol of virility and Taiwanese identity, globs of red betel nut spit can be seen throughout the country.  Much like chewing tobacco, betel nut is not the most feminine of habits, but I popped one nut in my mouth and did as the Taiwanese do, hacking up rose coloured spit like a pro. It tastes a lot like celery and filled my mouth with a lot of tobacco-tasting liquid. I can certainly understand why habitual users need to spit. I spat out a huge gob onto the sidewalk. Not the tastiest of treats but, when travelling, it’s always good to try new things - julia

 


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