The Man­goif­i­cent Whit­sun­days

A door, a white shirt and a mango stain

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

MANGOES to Tas­ma­ni­ans are what fifty bucks is to a uni stu­dent; a rare treat.

Grow­ing up, there was noth­ing more sym­bolic of sum­mer, than ar­riv­ing home from school to dis­cover a mango perched atop the wrin­kled, mouldy ap­ples and or­anges (we weren’t a ba­nana house).

They were ma­jes­tic and at around $5-6 for a sin­gle mango, also quite ex­pen­sive.

To me it was more valu­able than a Mag­num ice cream, and on oc­ca­sion the fight over the com­puter for the 8pm MSN chat times­lot.

When I ar­rived in the a re­gion for the first time nearly three months ago, my eyes nearly fell out of my head when I dis­cov­ered that peo­ple had mango trees that ac­tu­ally pro­duced fruit in their back­yard.

I dis­cov­ered I could buy a whole tray of mangoes for the ab­so­lute bar­gain price of $10.

I’ve seen a post on Face­book ad­ver­tis­ing mangoes for 50c each.

A work col­league has mango tree and bought a whole bag of them into the of­fice for free!

Tas­ma­nia is fa­mous for its ap­ples; The Whit­sun­days, in par­tic­u­lar Bowen is fa­mous for its mangoes – I know where I’d rather be.

Long-time res­i­dents read­ing this may find it hard to be­lieve just how much grief this ubiq­ui­tous fruit has caused me over the years, and two in­ci­dents in par­tic­u­lar still stand out to me, nearly a decade later.

The first, was the mango-stain in­ci­dent.

The sec­ond in­volved my father com­ing home from work to take the bath­room door off the hinges as I was locked in­side.

My brother and I had such fe­ro­cious ar­gu­ment over a mango, that I ended up hid­ing in the bath­room and he de­cided to one up me by stuff­ing the key­hole with Blu Tack from the out­side, so I couldn’t un­lock the door from the in­side.

This sounds dra­matic, but my dad’s a builder so it was no big deal, and it took him about only five min­utes to take the door off and put it back on again.

The stain how­ever, has had a last­ing im­pact.

I was in the kitchen care­fully scor­ing the skin on the mango so I could peel it back and cut away all of the flesh from the pit.

I was hav­ing a rather ‘ma­ture’ dis­cus­sion with my mother about some­thing she wouldn’t let me do, like at­tend a party that ev­ery­one else was go­ing to ex­cept me.

She stood there, wav­ing her arms around and she was wear­ing a new, white, silk shirt.

The mango was wet and juicy and it would stain.

I don’t quire re­call ex­actly what hap­pened next, but I do re­mem­ber watch­ing as if in slow mo­tion, the mango tum­bling through the air, juice fly­ing all over the floor and on the roof as it hit my mum right on her left shoul­der, leav­ing a bright yel­low stain on her new, white, ex­pen­sive, silk shirt.

I can­not con­firm or deny if I ac­tu­ally lobbed the mango at her, but los­ing that mango was some­thing I have never quite moved on from. I was also def­i­nitely not al­lowed to go that party.

The so­lu­tion to my mango plight all along was to move to the Whit­sun­days.

This job was meant to be. AL­TERED IM­AGE


HAL­LELU­JAH: It’s rain­ing mangoes here in the mag­nif­i­cent Whit­sun­days!

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