capt log #12 2010

The Solomon Island people have a habit that makes cigarette smoking seem like a clean, healthy, and desirable personal life choice. Ever hear of beetle nut?? Its walnut sized, green, soft covered nut. The user uses his teeth to peel and then chew some part of it. Then a small amount of lime (powered coral) is added to the mix. The result is a supposedly a “high” of energy, like a “upper” as I understand. These people don’t even mess with kava much, I guess kava would be the “healthy choice”!! The nasty part of beetle nut chewing is the red saliva that results from the addition of the lime. The user has red lips, red mouth and gums, and any remaining teeth are red. Most users have most of their teeth dissolved by middle age.

From a visitor standpoint let me describe a city with beetle nut. Imagine that everyone in your town chewed tobacco, were unemployed, and spent all day at the shopping mall. Then Imagine that there were no laws nor social pressure to prevent spitting where-ever and when-ever one chooses. Now color the result bright red. Now let is rain a little every day so that there is mud, puddles, and riverlets of red on the non-existing pavement and sidewalks.

When visiting the Solomon Islands bring good shoes.

I don’t think it will catch on in the US of A.