Are you a speed freak, too paranoid to score the hard stuff anymore? Or perhaps a caffeine junkie looking for an alternative to a Java pick-me up? Or even an aging hippie seeking an ethnic vibe?
Then why not go local and become part of a millions-strong drug-using community?
A drug so potent that it allows Indonesia’s long distance truck drivers to stay alert and clock up huge distances the day after snatching only a few hour’s sleep because they’ve been up most of the night enjoying the services of a lady masseur.
And even the medical world lauds this drug’s beneficial effects:
"It imparts the repeatedly described sensation of well-being, good humor, excitation, and comfort...The consciousness, of course, remains unimpaired, and the user's capacity for work is in no respect affected." (Hesse)
"It creates a feeling of energy, appeases hunger and assuages pain." (Henry Brownrigg)
And a user’s testimony:
It makes you feel strong. Your chest feels broader, your inhalations deeper, your back straighter; and an almost electric invigoration seems to run through your bones.
Ah, the joys of betel nut!!!!
But ain’t that the drug of downtrodden peasants in third world countries?
The Taiwanese, for example, are such big consumers of betel nut that the Taiwan government is getting worried according to the latest news reports.
Not so much by the drug itself mind you, but in the way it is sold:
Scantily-clad young women selling betel nut - a popular stimulant - has become a common sight in Taiwan. Intense competition between betel nut sellers has led to the women shedding more and more clothes in order to attract customers.
What the heck!
And it gets even more bizarre, as they sell the betel nut while sitting in little glass booths, much the way women in the red-light district of Amsterdam sell their bodies!!
Creating a buzz similar to drinking at least six cups of strong coffee this could do wonders for improving the productivity of Indonesia’s civil servants I think. So take note Mr Jokowi. And don’t forget the glass booths!
If you’re in need of a buzz, consider giving betel nut a go. Just don’t forget to brush your teeth!