The next one on the list is literally the LAST ONE ON THE LIST. And I saved it for last because I was a little scared of it honestly. The next one is Annu Paan Bhandar.
Last but not least, you might not be a Paan lover, but when you’re in Jaipur, try out the paan from Annu mobile paan bhandar, in Raja Park.
Well, well, well, the last one is maybe the hardest one!
My paan cost 30 rupees or about fifty cents.
Paan is an addictive substance made with betel nuts (RED) cloves, spices, coconut and I have no idea what else, wrapped in betel leaves. It’s easy to tell who is addicted to betel because their teeth are red from chewing betel nuts. It is supposed to have effects, I read somewhere it’s like drinking 6 cups of coffee! But people chew paan for colds or the flu or just because it’s a bit of a hopper.
Here is a photo from LopScoop (not my photo) of paan before it’s wrapped up:
There are all different kinds of paan, lots of people mix tobacco with it. That must be a happy little spike indeed, then punch it with a shot of street chai? This is how you get through India! But what is addictive about paan is not only the tobacco, it’s the betel leaf and the nut that give you a little push.
But shoot, I’ve done my share of drugs and I’ve been here for three months, I ain’t afraid of no paan! (I totally am, but I had to do the last one on the list no matter what.)
I didn’t want to go alone, but John was crazy busy and time was running out, time for paan, alone, by myself. I almost ran away when I got there because this was all I saw, but once I glimpsed inside I felt much better. This is a whole little place!
The guys inside did not seem surprised to see me and knew exactly why I was there. They asked if I wanted the “special” paan and the answer to that is “um, yes?” They told me they would take video of me without me even asking, so I knew this was kind of a thing.
Turns out the special paan? FIRE PAAN. No shit!!!
It tasted like, I can’t even tell you. I have never tasted any of those tastes in my life. And you shove the whole thing in your mouth, it took me forever to chew it (was I supposed to spit it out? I still don’t know exactly). Was I afraid of some kind of food poisoning? Yes, but this place is famous and shoot, it was on fire! I figured the fire would burn off anything I didn’t want to ingest. (Post paan – I did NOT get food poisoning but my tummy was slightly off the next day, lol.)
I didn’t feel anything from the betel. I didn’t feel a rush or anything like that, I’m sure they went easy on the nice, middle-aged, white lady, but I did taste it in my mouth most of the rest of the day. Definitely, like a weird menthol/clove type taste? I really, if I could explain what it tasted like, I would, but how do you explain the color pink to someone who has never seen color? You know? I have never EVER tasted those tastes before, so it’s hard to explain.
I thanked the nice men and off I went, all in all, it took about five minutes.
This was VERY brave! It was fun and a total rush to have some Indian man shove fire into my mouth. Go figure.
That’s it! I have done all 50 Things on the 50 Things To Do In Jaipur list (with some exceptions and in those cases, I added another thing so I still did FIFTY FREAKING THINGS in Jaipur).
I can’t believe it! Nice. I want to give another shout out and a huge thank you to Shabdita Pareek, the author of the 50 Things To Do In Jaipur list. I have been all around this town, I have tried many things I would NEVER have tried. Her list was so extensive and so awesome (and cheap! I’m going to do a final tally and wrap up of the project) and I’m so thankful to her. And I’m so glad I got to tell her so when I met her in person a few weeks ago.
Next, I’ll do my own contribution to the 50 Things List, the Peacock Restaurant!