Not in southern hemisphere, but one thing upside down

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The standard way to peel a mango and many other fruits and vegetables is top to bottom.

Happy Thanksgiving in the U.S.

You undoubtedly know that the seasons in the northern and southern hemispheres are opposite each other.  Probably, you learned in school that water swirls into sink drains in opposite directions.

(I confess that I once forgot that little weather detail when, years ago, I had to travel for work from Bangkok to Buenos Aires during an even longer trip.  That leg took 44 hours door to door, flying on four different jets and and landing in five airports, including Seattle and Miami with layovers so short that I didn’t have time to buy a decent cup of desperately desired coffee.  After my arrival in Argentina, the first thing I did was buy a bulky white sweater.)

At its most southern points, Cambodia is a little more than 10 degrees latitude north of the equator.  Yet apparently we are close enough to do at least one mundane thing in contrast to the way almost everyone seems to perform a routine task where I used to live.

The task is peeling and slicing fruits and vegetables.

Whereas folks to the north tend to hold, say, a potato in one hand and trim upward from an end or cut a navel orange in circles, here in Phnom Penh everyone goes the other way; they peel downward.

For me, the way Cambodians exercise those skills would be especially difficult when skinning a mango.  At the same time, I acknowledge that their approach must be safer than mine, that is, cutting away from the body rather than toward it.  For me to essay their approach undoubtedly would prove to be bloody, if not deadly.

Let me acknowledge that this may not be the weightiest of topics, and perhaps my observation and compulsion to post the subject suggests that maybe I have too much time on my hands.

So, I’m off to States next week to shop, gorge on bagels, check out some art, enjoy the theater and catch up with friends.  Whether I’ll be publishing posts while away is a question that I’ll decide later, but I rather doubt I’ll be so motivated.

E-mail: malcolmncarter@gmail.com

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