On the low table is a bundle of mossy green asparagus-shaped betel peppers and a bowl of quicklime. Sau Sae snaps a piece of pepper, frosts it with lime, and pops it in her mouth. "Too much lime turns your mouth red," she says, spitting into a dish. "Like yours," she observes.
"Do you believe that?"
"Well, I don't know. I asked some old men and old women and some said yes and some said no."
"Can you chew betel at school?"
"No. You have to have clean teeth at school or the teacher will fight you."
Seven ripe areca drupes: Rp 5,000
A handful of dried areca seeds: Rp 2,000
A bundle of betel peppers: Rp 5,000
A knotted bag of slaked lime: Rp 2,000