Kava or how you walk zigzag without alcohol. Inclusive the exclusive self test.

Traditionally Kava is drunken mainly in Vanuatu and the nearby island states. It is a ceremonial drink. And it is drunken in the evening only from men in the so called „Nakamal“ (gathering place of the village).
A Kava ceremony is carried out in order to give visitors a warm welcome, to start a „Chief meeting“, to worship the dead people and and and. At least you´ll find always a reason.
Supposed this hallucinogenic drug makes the thought happy, you feel yourself knowing and you like the rhythm of the speech.
The botanical name is Piper methysticum and it is like the same says a plant from the pepper family.

For only cultural reasons I forced myself doing a test of these drug. Nowadays you have by the way, the opportunity to joing a Kava bar for example in Port Vila. According rumours there are more than 100 here. You recognize them on the red light or lantern which is glowing outside.
OK, how ist he stuff produced? At first the root is grinded to a kind of dough. Traditionally it is chewed by boys, which are not allowed being married mostly they are between 15 and 17. Older mens are not allowed to touch the grinded Kava it is a “kastom” law. (Kastom means the traditional customs). I do without the traditional thing and prefer the modern variety. The pulp is cought in a bucket then, filled with a bit of water and filtered after that through a towel. The liquid looks like muddy green and nasty. And it is the same way it tastes as well with a light taste after pepper. It is recommended to empty the shell in one drink and spit after that a few times. I guess they recommended it because otherwise you will stop drinking forever. After you drank you lips and mouth is going numb and cool. And you have a bitter aftertaste the whole time.

Revealing, the details
1. Sleftest on Tanna with a few man from the village. I drink the first shell. It tastes disgusting but anyway it goes down the throat. After that I got a banana and we go in a dark corner to wait for the reaction. They don´t bash me up there instead the tell me about the culture and the background of drinking Kava. My lips and mouth are numb. I wait for the effect but nothing happens. They ask me if I like another shell. Yeah, I say of course I don´t feel anything. The second shell tastes a bit better, because my mouth is still numb. Nothing happened after the second shell. The third shell follows. Still nothing happens. Actually I´m told after you eat some food you will feel the effect for sure. I go to dinner. Disappointed I go to bed. Nothing happened and I feel like before. This was the first Kava experience and I was not exactly satisfied with the results. So there must be more. All the Vanuatuans can´t be wrong.

I suppose every man in Vanuatu has drunken Kava and likes it. So I think it is not possible that I feel nothing. There is only one way. Try it again, maybe the stuff was bad. I try it again when I´m back in Port Vila. Like told there are a lot of bars, this one with the red light.(I know sometimes this sign means other things). After I found a bar I walk in and make the 2nd test for the reader of Global-Wings.

2nd selftest on the island Efate with a few men from the city I get my first shell, walk in the shadow behind the bar and putt he stuff down my throat. A few of the men standing around there nodding with respect in my direction. Immediately they approach me and ask if I work in Port Vila and if I speak Bislama. It is quite blatent that not many tourists visit that spot here. My lips did go numb and cool meanwhil. This stuff here seems a lot stronger. I wait a some more minutes and my spirit takes the elevator to the 1st floor (metaphorical speaking). I think that shit works now. Not to risk that I loose that feeling I got a second time to the bar and get another load of the Kava slop. After drinking I felt I have to sit almost immediately.The other men invite to sit on their bench and we have a small chat. “I go to the extreme“ and stagger to the bar again to have a last half shell. Sure is sure. It is difficult to reach the counter and after I had the last shell everything becomes a bit difficult. I decide to walk back to the small hotel. Now I feel every piece of the Kava definately. My min dis still really clear but my motor activity does not belong to me. The way back seems to me very very short though it is exactly the same lenghts (maybe a bit longer because of my zigzag). I reach the room we live in and I have to take a very deep breath. Kava now feels like a very strong alcohol intoxication without feeling dizzy and disorientated. The mind is still much more clear and awake. But in deed I don´t feel very knowing and even talking feels hard. The only thing I know I would never become addicted to Kava. Even today when I remember the taste and the feeling I could almost vomit. Two hours later the effect of Kava was gone and I felt tired.

All in all a very cultural experience and a cheap evening as well. You have to pay around 2 Euro to get a intoxication level of about 3 per thousand blood alcohol (this is definately more expensive with alcohol). And at least I could do without dinner, this makes it less expansive on top.

This was my self test exclusiv for all the readers of Global-Wings. And for everyone who is concerned, yes I still live and there were no side effects, no I´m not addicted to Kava or to other drugs and I know the results of drug abuse. : - )