Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A fruit shake in Rangoon

In a papaya science finds antioxidants and vitamins. I see the flag of a tropical country: the external stripe is yellow, with green engravings, the center is orange-red, mushy, almost rotten. And close to the pole the black of the seeds, dozens of pearls, rubbery and shiny.
Downtown in Rangoon, in the shade of the palm trees, in front of the mirrors and the fans of a teahouse, a phlegmatic Burmese is making a fruit shake. The blade slides slowly, peeling without waste. The pulp gives in without any effort: the weight of the knife seems to be enough. He throws it into a mortar, with a block of ice, and without using blades, plastic or current, he grinds it with patience, with pestle blows. 
A fruit shake in Rangoon is like the quiet street, the shade of the foliage, the colonial teahouse. It's more than a drink, of a cool spray on the afternoon: it's a throbbing atmosphere, a complete experience.

Rangoon, Burma, autumn 2002

Photo "Papaya" by Flowery Luza (CC), from flickr

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