A Journey Through the Drug Fields of Ethiopia and Yemen
Lured by idyllic memories of ancient cities, spectacular mountains and, most of all, dreamy afternoons spent chewing the psychoactive leaves of the qat tree, Kevin Rushby set out to travel the old 'Qat Road' from the highlands of Ethiopia to Yemen. It was to prove a fascinating and dangerous journey, peopled with an extraordinary array of characters - criminals, Islamic scholars, an exorcist, and the mysterious Cedric, the travelling companion from hell.
'Eating the Flowers of Paradise' combines classic travel writing with an examination of the rich and varied culture surrounding the drug qat, which is legal in the UK but banned in the US, experts variously claim it to be as mild as tea or as addictive as cocaine. In the Yemen, it is central to the life of the country, and Rushby explores as he goes our attitudes towards substance abuse and addiction.