Thursday, 17 November 2016

18th November - home in Tasmania - betel nut horrors

Friday 18th November 2016

It’s hard to believe but…back in Tasmania I hardly have a spare minute. My blog is sadly neglected and I still have lots of photos and lots of tales to tell.

Here in Hobart it is just beautiful (of course…)  We have had all sorts of weather – cold, sleety, windy, sunny and, yesterday – over 30 degrees!

I am reeling from USA – Donald Trump the new president, as predicted by the writers of the Simpsons sixteen years ago.  And the death of Leonard Cohen.  I don’t think these events are related but they both make my heart ache…

The perils of betel nut

So far I haven’t been able to find out what is good about chewing betel nut.  Nobody has been able to explain whether it makes the chewers exhilarated, relaxed, happy, manic.  I rather think it is a chill-out drug, but who knows?

What I do know is that it is very disfiguring.  Red gums blackening around the edges, decayed teeth rotting to the roots.  Painful and horrid!  And all that horrid scarlet spit all over the ground.

Rosina and family
People in PNG seemed to us to be very nice parents – relaxed, calm, gentle.  But…we saw quite a lot of very small children with rotting teeth and blackened gums, from betel nut. Rosina, who was a very smart young woman, in the Ninigo Islands, was very defensive when we expressed shock at her dear little three year old daughter chewing and spitting away.  “My husband gives it to her.  I can’t stop him!  She cries, and won’t sleep unless she has some!”

Rosina, sans betel nut

Rosina herself has lovely white teeth, untainted by this disfiguring drug…

No comments:

Post a Comment