Monday, November 23, 2009


When I first came to Jakarta, I felt as if I was living in some kind of Eden purely based on the abundant selection of tropical fruits. Mangoes, pineapples, bananas and papaya were readily available and cheap. Many of these fruits are my favorites but my heart truly belongs to the mango. Life couldn't get any better I thought. My diet at the time consisted of up to 4 mangoes a day. It didn't matter because they were so cheap. The price just seemed to keep dropping and dropping until it got as low as Rp. 5000 (50 cent;) for a Kilogram. It was pure bliss that was soon to be shattered.

I still recall that fateful day when I went to the local fruit stand near my house. The fruit seller was out of mangoes. No problem I thought, I will get some from the mango cart when it comes by. The mango cart never came. The next day, I returned to find the fruit seller still didn't have any mangoes. I asked how long until he would have more and he said never. A few things were lost in translation but the point was clear: mango season was finished. This was a hard pill to swallow.

Mango season? Surely this could not be so. This is a tropical country after all. They only have 2 kinds of weather: rain and no rain. I asked around only to find that my worst fears were true. I would not be able to eat mangoes to my heart's content every day. What made this news even worse was that mango season would not return until the following September. It was December at the time. My whole world came crashing down. Not only could I not eat mangoes every day but the time that they were available would be a little more than 1/3 of the year.

This had led me to have an even greater appreciation for mangoes. Throughout the years I have found out that pineapples, bananas and some other fruits are always available and don't have a season. Unfortunately, mangoes do have a season and it is short lived. Currently, we are in the Indian summer of mango season. All I can do is just keep enjoying them and hope the mango cart is still there the next time I run out.

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