Quoting Pusherman:" It's called Qat. Popular in some African countries as well as in Yemen. It's basically leaves that ... [snip!] ... that it's because of the qat. Effects? Euphoria. Energy. Excitement. So would you give it a try? Assuming it were legal. "
I tried it in Ethiopia, before I knew I was pregnant, where its popular amongst the Afar and Somalia populations. (I was in the Afar region). I don't like the taste, to me it tastes like a plant, and did nothing for me. I found that some men that chewed it regularly acted as though some people do when they are drunk being a bit agressive nad inappropriate towards women. On the other hand most people become so chilled out that they just spend hours chewing and chilling lol
It is definetly addictive despite people saying it's not. There's nothing worse than seeing men scrabbling about in the dirt looking for khat leaves that have fallen or begging for leaves from other people. Then theres the green foam around the mouith of addicts *shudders*. They spend a relatively large proportion of their income on it, but then life can be hard and sometimes tehy need a break.
It's definetly a social habit and you are expected to provide khat for you're guests and chew togetehr. Women chew in Afar, although much less than men but only in their own homes and not in khat houses. There is a campaign agaisnt chewing that is gaining ground because some parts of Afar society feel that it is a bad influence on the young and distracts them from their herding duties as well as draining the families ressources.