Monday, May 17, 2010

One Word: Litchis

If you've ever tasted a litchi or litchi flavored jellies at home, you might think they taste like nasty perfume. Most tropical fruit does have that sort of "musky" flavor that is reminiscent of some perfumes. P.J. recently blogged about mangoes, and closely on their heels come another sweet treat, litchis!

They don't come in a can, and when they're fresh, they are amazing little fruits. They come attached to a big green bushy thing and are small round things surrounded by a rough red shell. Without the shell, they look and feel like eye balls, but man are they tasty!

No, not all of life here is suffering. We may not have electricity, and we may have to reuse our laundry water 3 times, but some things make it all worth it!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Living is South Asia is full of struggles. You struggle to obtain basic necessities like water, electricity, food, and clean air. You struggle to enjoy basic freedoms like the ability to drive a car on any given day, the ability to worship freely, and the rights every citizen should have, the ability to obtain a driver's license, a package from the post office, or even admission into a school without the need to pay a bribe. America is not perfect, but water, electricity, food, and in most places, clean air are taken for granted. They are widely available and, relatively speaking, cheap. You can drive your car or go to work or school any day you would like. You can believe and live out any kind of strange doctrine you would like. As a matter of fact, the more radical or strange your beliefs are, the more rights and freedoms you are granted.

Despite all this, America is lacking one great necessity and freedom. Mangoes. We have just entered mango season, and for some reason, the lack of water, electricity, and clean air don't bother me as much. What? Today is a strike and nobody can drive their car or bicycle, and all the stores are closed? No problem. I bought mangoes yesterday, I don't need to go to the store. Mango sorbet, mango and banana smoothies, mango, strawberry, and banana fruit salad... are you getting hungry yet? Then we have the granddaddy of all desserts: mango puree over rich, thick vanilla ice cream. It's like a Creamsicle on steroids.

I feel sad for all of you Americans. Sure you can buy a mango for 2 dollars that was picked last month completely green, boxed up, put on a truck, loaded on a ship, set sail for 2 weeks, loaded on another truck, dipped in chemicals to give it some color, and dropped in a bin at your local grocery store. No, I am sorry, you haven't eaten a mango yet. Right now you can get a pound of mangoes here for about 50 cents, but towards the end of the season they are as cheap as 25 cents a pound. Or you could just pick one off a tree for free at the peak of its freshness. All of a sudden life here is not looking so bad. I am beginning to pity all of you stuck in America. Then I remember blueberries, peaches, and crisp Washington apples, which we don't have, and I am lost all over again. I better go eat some mangoes to cheer me up...