Enjoying Paan
Betel Nut
Citation:   Tohno. "Enjoying Paan: An Experience with Betel Nut (exp66282)". Erowid.org. Mar 4, 2009. erowid.org/exp/66282

1 oz oral Betel Nut
I started reading about betel nut last year. Up till now, I was mostly straight-edge, not because I frowned upon drugs, but hadn't found any that interest me. Betel piqued my interest because I had developed a terrible tolerance to caffeine, and my morning pot of espresso wasn't waking me up. Well, simply put, betel does the trick.

I had looked all over for how to best ingest it, and tried to decide on exactly how, as most experiences seem to have it like chewing tobacco, but some said to actually eat it. I decided to go with the chewing method, and ordered some up from an online vendor. Over the past two or three months, I've been chewing it, mostly on the way to school or work. I find that it's very subtle, where you don't really notice it's there, until you crash. As a warning for anyone who uses stuff like this to stay awake for a couple of days, the crash after such an experience for me is rough.

Not even having stayed awake for several days, but running on less than five hours of sleep, I indulged thrice yesterday. I got off the train in Penn Station, and around 8.15, I popped about I'd guess an ounce, and chewed it with no leaf. I walked down to Curry Hill, in search of fresh paan. but couldn't find any shops that were open, although the paan shop on Lexington and 27th (I think, might be 28th) opened at 6.00 that night. Still, I needed to be on the other end of town at six for class.

Still riding out the energy from my pre-packaged chew, I walked down to China Town, and ate lunch at the Buddha Bodai. Aside from the orange chicken here (vegan orange chicken, I might add), all I had eaten was a bagel and a blueberry donut. I had several cups of tea at the Bodai, and some coffee when I stopped at the grocer on Union Square to go shopping.

After lunch, I took the train up to Jackson Heights, still feeling kind of peppy. Here, I found a paan shop (by the way, I saw it written pan, paan, and myriad other ways, but they're all betel) which was open. They made it the Indian way, diced betel nuts on Kaffir lime leaves. However, they put a sweet sauce on it, and nerds. I didn't like it that sweet, because I think betel actually tastes pretty good, and I don't think nerds are vegan, but I chose not to investigate.

Any way, I bought four at a dollar each, and immediately put on in my mouth. These had to be four or five times the size of the Pan Parang packets I'd had before, so maybe ~4-5 ounces. This was around 1.45 in the afternoon. I bought some water, because I get terrible dry-mouth when I'm on betel, and walked around. I felt pretty good, despite not having eaten hardly anything. I flew around and had already walked probably close of 5 or six miles when 4.30 found me popping in another, just to make sure I didn't run out of energy.

I went to class, felt nicely focused, and returned to Penn to get dinner and go home. I had a veggie wrap, and got on the train with a cup of coffee in my other hand. On the train up, I crashed, and just passed out. Fortunately, I woke up for my stop. Still, I got into my ride's car, fell asleep, and was totally disoriented when I woke up despite being at the bottom of the road I live on.

Don't let this discourage you. This happened because I was not thinking about my relatively low tolerance, and had too high a dose to start. I enjoy betel, and find it beneficial. While in Curry Hill, I bought some more betel nuts in premade baggies, as well as lime leaves, so I can enjoy it the traditional style. Have fun, but be realistic, and don't start with too large a dose.

Exp Year: 2007ExpID: 66282
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: Mar 4, 2009Views: 21,721
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Betel Nut (92) : General (1), Alone (16)

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