Burma, Sharing

Red Spit

The betel Burmese chew on, a piece of tobacco wrapped in a leaf with lime paste, powdered tobacco and something else…it gives their grin a touch of resident evil 4, ruins gums and teeth, leads to funny pronunciation and let’s them spit what looks like gore. This certainly is a fitting simile of a people who live in fear and who manage to cover that fear in an ever smiling way. A way, that is, that never ceases to amaze me. Now at least, it does not surprise me any longer. Every day there are reminders that there are authorities who have to be informed about my (almost) every step in this country. I can’t stay at a monastery because ‘it is too dangerous because of people outside’. I’d like a bus ticket. Passport, please. When did i arrive in Myanmar? When will I leave? Where did I sleep in Yangon that other night? Thus, it is only appropriate that people chew on this and belch and burp and pull up snot and spit out this gory red stuff wherever they go. Just to put the next piece into the mouth. So it comes that the streets of Burma are full of blood. I would do it, too, if it weren’t so disgusting at the beginning, the middle, and the end.

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Betel vendor at the bus station

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Betel leaves, tobacco, lime

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