Monday, August 15, 2005

The orange eater

It was not a very good day.

In the evening, I packed my stuff to go for karate training. Upon entering the changing room, I discovered that I forgot my attire. “Fark CB!” I said in full.

It is impossible to do anything realistic with my jeans, so I gave up and headed home.

To add to my problems, today is also Bad Nose Day, whereby my nose continuously generates a trickle of dilute mucus. It’s so watery that it dribbles out of the nostrils, thus I have to be continuously sniffling and wiping.
And sneezing.

All this sniffling and blowing over the course of the day has given rise to a minor headache, sinus cavities overflowing with watery discharge and fuzzy vision. It is extremely annoying, to say the least.

Early in the night, I gathered a few small mandarin oranges. They are similar to the (expensive) kind we get during CNY that go by fancy names such as wong dai kat (emperor citrus/lime). I then took a knife, and polished its cutting edge for several seconds using a smooth silicon carbide brick. With a sharp knife and several mandarins, I sat at my study desk and started removing the peel.

I leaned back in my tilting chair, feet propped up on the desk, sharp blade in one hand, helpless fruit in the other. I made an equatorial incision around the mandarin, then 8 longitudinal cuts across the equator from stem to ‘butt’. That done, I pried the skin loose with the blade’s tip, starting at the equator and working them loose towards the ends.

Finally, the skin came loose of the flesh in two circular sheets. They look a bit like orange coloured, many-petalled daisies. The fruit was free!

I then ate the fleshy segments. Juicy…

For some bizarre reason, I found peeling mandarins just as, if not more, therapeutic than eating the delicious fruit itself. I suppose it’s the satisfaction of cutting just enough to penetrate the skin, but not enough to damage the flesh. It might be the pleasure of seeing rejected peel generated in elegant, geometric designs. It could be the joy of wielding an obedient blade, sharp but cooperative.

ps. Chi bai headache...