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Something I really love about living in the the Philippines are the coconuts. They find their way into so much of the food and ‘buko juice‘ is a fundamental part of the culture.
Fresh green coconuts, drinking sweet water from the nut, spilling it down your cheeks and chin, scooping white flesh. Heavenly.
If I’m feeling tired, run down or just plain emotional, going to the market and paying 15-30 pesos (45-75c) for a whole fresh nut restores me every time.
I like to put it in the ref (fridge) and chill to cold before walking across the road and asking my friend Em to get her husband’s bola (a wide-bladed knife used in the fields to cut bananas and other crops) and hack off the top. Jerry is mortified if he arrives home from school to find an empty buko shell.
Now if you’re wondering about the weird photo above, it’s a roadside coconut stall; connected to a motorbike, a driver and a livelihood.
The owners of these type of stalls sell a sweet ‘buko’ drink or shake: coconut water, milk, juice (sometimes jelly) and loads and loads and loads of sugar. It’s yummy and Jerry goes crazy for it, but I can’t have more than a few sips.
So I did have a little laugh last week in the city, watching this awkward contraption weave itself through heavy traffic and into an expensive petrol/gas station outside a fancy shopping mall.
The front of the old cart was packed to giants with green coconuts and the motorbike dragging it behind was overloaded with driver and piles of plastic bags. The bags (full of I-don’t-know-what) layered over the handle-bars drizzling down onto the legs of the driver.
Trotting along behind was another man (on foot) piloting a popcorn cart (attached to the back of the coconut buggy via an old rope). Somehow they managed to get that thing up over the gutter and pushing it in close, next to the petrol/gasoline bowsers.
I grabbed a quick snap (more for my own memory more than anything else) and hope you enjoy my little memory as much as I did clicking away as it manoeuvred by.
© 2018 Melinda J. Irvine
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