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"Lembranças de um Coco"

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Foto: Maarten Zeehandelaar

Arguably the most useless thing we have in our house is the cracked top of a coconut shell. It came into my life in the year 2000 and has stayed with me ever since. I used it for an ashtray, until I stopped smoking almost 7 years ago. Now it just sits on top of a very small collection of stones, brought home from various trips abroad. So why keep it, you ask? Well, for the memories it represents, of course.

First off, the day I met this piece of coconut was also the day I learned how coconuts grow, which is shown in this week’s photo. For those of you as unfamiliar with it as I was at the time: the size of these green balls you see there can be anywhere between a soccer ball and a basketball ball. That’s right: it is easily quadruple the size of the amiably hairy nut-with-a-straw-in-it you buy on beaches around the globe. So there was that surprise.

Secondly, along comes a guy, a local guy. This happens on some beach on the Honduran Caribbean coast, I don’t remember which exactly. He gives a few of the coconut trees the once-over, picks one, shakes it lightly and down comes one of those green colossuses. He picks it up, turns his back to the tree it fell from and places his feet firmly on either side of the bulging trunk base. He then slams the thing onto that base hard, from above his head, about five times. It cracks open. He peels away the husk in three pieces, holds up the familiar hairy coconut, takes a knife from his back pocket and pricks a hole in it. He then holds the nut over his head and pours a magnificent looking cascade of coconut milk straight into his throat. This looks so awesome, and simple, that I just have to try it. I have to drink coconut like that.

Three hours later I hold in my hand a hairy coconut, above a million scratched, torn, smashed and ripped pieces of husk, scattered all around me on the white sand of that lovely beach. Now it’s my head that feels like it’s the size a basketball ball, and has the colour of an overripe tomato. The palms of my hands are smashed to a pulp and they hurt like hell. Not so simple then, but I got it out. It is at this wonderful moment that I realise, I don’t have my knife with me.

photo of this weeks photo of the week


Texto por: Peter-Jan Vermeij


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Copyright © 2010-2017 Maarten Zeehandelaar.