When I first encountered it I thought they slaughter animals in front of there houses. There must be thousends of chickens, pigs and what ever be killed every day in Yangon – how disgusting! Streets and pedestrians in this city are covered by lumbs of red liquid. I didn’t know where to step either I had to step into ‘blood’ or into mud. After walking for hours we did not attend any butcher scene. So my next idea was that the people of Yangon drop there not used chilli sauce on the ground. Sounded logically for me though! I was wrong in both.

Blood or chilli ?

Burmese have there own ‘chewing gum’ called ‘betel’. Wrapped in a leave is coconut seed topped with a white liquid and a touch of lime. Mainly man are chewing it everywhere and all the time. Like a gum you don’t swallow the ‘juice’ instead one just spit it out on the ground. Waves of red colored seliver with little bits and pieces dropping all around you. Beside being disgusted walking over these roads you will be hit a second time when you will look into smiling burmese faces with black crusted teeth. Decoloration of teeth is one side effect of ‘betel’.

The black are teeth...

When I asked man if they like it or if it’s pretty you don’t get an answer. So I changed my question. ‘On your wedding do you chew betel and are your teeth red?’ ‘No, we will have white teeth, cleaned by a dentist before.’ By the way women do mostly not chew because of the ‘ugly red color’. Here we go!

Alex

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