After being in Ecuador for four months and having absolute no bad experiences with theft, robbery, or anything like that, I finally got a little bit ripped off--but it was cute!!! The other day Rox and I were watching the afternoon sun try to pick a path to the sea, when this nice family of four strolled by having fun exploring the beach as they went. Mom and Dad were kind of staying a little above the foamy surf line, while a little girl of about 5 and her brother, about 4, were all over the place picking up goodies and discarding them nearly as fast. When directly in front of us, they both seemed to become spellbound by something at the base of our fence. I thought it might be a little sand crab or an iguana, 'cause I didn't see a thing to be excited about. All of a sudden they both approached the fence, the little boy got thru in a heartbeat, ran out of our line of sight and came running back lugging a 10 pound coconut that had fallen 30 minutes previously. He wiggled thru the fence, and both of them took off running to show their prize to mom and dad. Dad looked at it, shook it and listened a second, and tucked it under his arm, and away they went.
I was a little surprised that no one thought to ask if it was OK to take the coconut, but then figured that this might fall into the category of a farmer's crop that might shed a fruit in the wind, and you can just pick it up (or something like that). I was also interested to note that Dad considered it a good enough find to go ahead and lug anything that weighed 10 pounds or more for the duration of the walk.
My very limited experience with coconut milk fresh from the tree was that the "milk" tasted a little like a combination of dishwater and warmed up piss. Don't get me wrong, I really don't have a familiarity with either taste, but I have a fertile imagination. The only way that I would drink that stuff again, would be to add a cup of sugar and a cup of rum to it...gee, I think they have already invented that drink.
Anyway, we have a little more than 700 coconuts on 31 coco palm trees right in our yard, and the only thing I like about them, is that they really look good in pictures, etc. So...I was not overly concerned about losing one, which would have been bowled over to the adjacent vacant lot later anyway.
But, I asked Jimmy, of our work crew, what was so good about coconut milk, and he said that it is "very rich" and "very strong", but I got the impression that he was trying to convey a more mystical meaning to me. He, too, had discovered a coconut in the yard that morning, and promptly hacked it open on one end and drank all the contents down. Took the rest home with him later.
So...feeling a little guilty, I asked him if he would like to harvest several on Sunday--so here he comes this morning with his brother and a friend, all set to get goodies. take a look...
By the time they had a few on the ground each of the three guys had hacked open one coconut and downed all the milk...
These three each had a 100 lb bag, balanced on the centerpiece of the bike, as they peddled off to the next town south of here, riding their bikes in the hard packed sand.