Let’s say you love to travel. You’re gonna love the thrill of stepping into unknown territory, meeting people, finding adventure around and eating food you’ve never encountered before. To be short, part of traveling that I like is getting to know local traditions, history and culture. It’s hard to beat street food as one of the most authentic and vibrant ways to experience the local buzz. Well, if it comes to try some local foods, it is a common experience for every traveler when they come into new places. So, what makes you a local when you visit Yemen?
If there’s one word that I heard more than any other during my visit to Yemen, it is the word “qat”. Qat is a plant that is grown all over Yemen, whether in the valleys or on the mountainsides, that could be used to grow a plant. In Yemen, people chew qat while walking, sitting, talking, driving, working and just about anything else they might be doing. And when I say ‘people’, I am referring to what appears to be the entire over-18 male population of the country. Chewing qat is not just some hobby. Every male I met admitted that they were addicted to qat. The only way they could stop chewing it was if they had no money at all. Gosh! And sometimes, the chewers looks funny because their cheeks looks like big balloons. Hahaha
Did I try it out? Of course I did. And I don’t know how they get addicted with this leaves. It tasted like leaves. I felt like some kind of mammals. Hahaha. Below is a video of me chewing qat.