A story about mango

Mango is my favorite fruit. I hardly eat mango here because the supermarket mostly sells rockhard mango (made of steel, meant to be on the tree a month longer I suspect), or mango that is all mushy and way too ripe. But tonight I was eating a mango that was just perfect. Extremely juicy, soft, and so full of taste. As I was cutting it and then eating the rest out of my hand (as in, holding it so I could eat it to the pit), it reminded me of when I was little.

I grew up in Indonesia, and as is quite a normal thing there, we had a maid. Her name was Ira. She cooked us dinner, and peeled all the delicious fruits a country like Indonesia has on offer. I loved it all: starfruit, papaya, pineapple, rambutan, manggis… Western fruit is so boring and it gives a me red hot head, so I don’t enjoy fruit as much as I used to. I mean, seriously, where’s the joy in an apple? But anyway, back to the mango and to Ira. Because when Ira was in the kitchen peeling the mango, I was always right next to her. Why? Well, it wasn’t that I just couldn’t wait to eat a piece of mango. Oh no, it was because the best part of eating mango was when Ira finished peeling, and gave me the pit. I’d hold it with my hands, careful not to drop it (a wet juicy mango is just so slippery!), and start eating everything that was left, until there was no more fruit left on the pit.

So tonight, as I was standing in the kitchen, finishing peeling the mango, I took the pit in my hand. The juice was dripping down my arm as I was eating away. I suddenly saw myself as a little kid again, standing in the kitchen, next to Ira, eating away. It made me smile. Because 20 years later it’s still tru: Eating off the pit is still the best part of eating mango!

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