critical reading for the rude

AIDS awareness + betel nut

{UPDATE: it occurs to me to ask, anybody know if betel is legal in the States?  Anybody know where I could find them if they, um, are? E-mail me if ye do knw.} 

Betel nuts are good. Sure, they give you lip cancer, make your teeth red, stain the sidewalks up so horrible that it looks like blood from scooter wrecks everywhere… but they also give you a hot charge that rises from deep in your shoulders and throat and rushes up through the top of your head. Its like chewing tobacco, drinking a beer real fast, and downing a pot of coffee all at once. ‘Tis lovely, if you have the taste for it.

China Post has this:

Health officials want to turn the scantily clad women who sell betel nuts at stands along Taiwan’s roadways into anti-AIDS campaigners.

Betel nuts, chewed as a mild stimulant, are popular among truck and taxi drivers — and vendors often compete by staffing roadside sales booths with young women in bikinis, translucent blouses or nurses’ uniforms with miniskirts.

The government plans to have the women give their customers boxes containing condoms and an AIDS warning, Yang Shih-yang, an official at the Center for Disease Control, said yesterday.

“Research done from Africa to Himalayan countries has proved one thing: The AIDS viruses are spread along the highways,” Yang said. He was apparently referring to truckers and cab drivers engaging in prostitution or sex with multiple partners.

April 30, 2007 - Posted by | geo/pol, writing

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