The Mangoificent Whitsundays
A door, a white shirt and a mango stain
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!