Speaking of Mango…

I envy Rocky. He knew what mango was when he was little.

For me, the name, “golden mango”, only appeared in pictures when I was young. If the President of Congo or Parkistan didn’t bring two to give to Chairman Mao as greeting gifts, most of us Chinese may not hear of such a thing for decades. Chairman Mao did not eat the mangos. Instead, he passed them on to the workers.  The whole nation celebrated the grand gesture. The images displayed on this website depict the sensation. 

In Karlsruhe, Germany, I came upon a wagon on which exotic fruits were displayed. I asked a clerk what they were. The shriveled, yellowish, shapeless things were mangos.

Man…? Mango?! Mango!!

At the time the government gave us who worked abroad 1 USD a day for pocket-money. I was saving it up to buy a watch for my father. But I decided to part a seemingly big chunk of my Deutsch Mark  for the smallest mango in that basket. I had to taste it, because it was something Chairman Mao didn’t even eat, of course not my grandparents, nor my parents.

I was in my 20s then. For the first time I realized that mangos were not golden.

    • Rocky Russell
    • May 6th, 2011

    Many things struck me about this post, Xin.
    How something so hilarious can also be heartbreaking, at times.

    The last sentence is priceless. Clearly, the good mangoes never got to Germany, it appears. Come to India, during the early summer and I will let you experience heaven on your palate.

    That said, I was very amused by the picture of Chairman Mao’s mangoes being carried around like relics.
    More than amusement, I was also very relieved.

    Relief that such a picture didn’t fall into the hands of my parents when I was young, for the guilt they would have inflicted on me for eating up every piece of the mangoes that we got hold of.

    I can truly relate to that old adage, ‘Ignorance is Bliss’. My parents’ ignorance, led to my bliss, to be precise.

    • Rocky Russell
    • May 6th, 2011

    I meant to say, ‘the guilt for NOT eating up every piece of the mangoes that we got hold of’, cos it was easy to waste what was in abundance.

    And when I think of them now, those mangoes were unbelievably sweet. Divine, in fact.

    And it’d appear that the mangoes I find in New York have arrived via Germany !

    • Marion
    • May 6th, 2011

    Xin,
    How did you find those Chinaman Mao pictures? They really brought back memories.

    Marion

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