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Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Story of Mangosteens, Wood Canes, and a Stealthy Thief in Guiyang

On a recent sunny day in Guiyang, some people sold fruit along a road leading to an entrance to Qianling Mountain Park. One woman sold mangos and mangosteens.

woman selling mangos and mangosteens alongside a street in Guiyang


Despite their similar names in English, the two fruits look very different, taste very different, and aren't closely related. Their names aren't at all similar in Mandarin Chinese. Still, the pairing caught my attention.

After taking a few photos, a man behind me got my attention and expressed amusement over my interest in the fruit seller. He also opportunistically asked if I was interested in buying one of the wood canes he was selling. I wasn't, although I knew one could soon come in handy for defensive purposes. After a brief friendly chat, the man was happy when I asked to take his photo.

man selling wood canes in Guiyang


I then decided to buy some mangosteens from the woman. After the bargaining was over — mangosteens aren't cheap — I had three promising-looking purple orbs. I gave one of the mangosteens to the man. He initially refused but soon cheerfully accepted the fruit. Mangosteens are really good.

I attached the clear plastic bag holding the two remaining mangosteens to my camera bag and headed into the park.

After checking out a zoo in the park, I cracked open one of the mangosteens. I wanted to make sure I enjoyed it before it was possibly stolen. Already there had been several attempts — some involving direct confrontations and others involving stealthier strategies. I had expected this since the fruit were so clearly visible. One needs to be aware of such things when roaming around Qianling Mountain Park.

Then just when all seemed clear I felt a very strong pull on my camera bag. As people yelled, I spun around reacting as quickly as I could. I knew a mangosteen was at stake here. It was all a blur, but at the end I had maintained possession of my camera bag despite the strap somehow disconnecting. And to my surprise the plastic bag remained attached as well.

The culprit quickly fled to a tree for safety. From there the monkey looked at me . . .

monkey in a tree in Guiyang


Looked at me while eating its prize.

monkey eating a stolen mangosteen in Guiyang


Well done, monkey. You succeeded where many had failed. And your reward was a glorious mangosteen.

5 comments:

  1. Hi it's Sylvia here today and I think that is funny that a monkey ate your mangosteenšŸµ

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    1. Many of the people who watched it happened were amused as well. It isn't every day a monkey steals your mangosteen.

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  2. The second time I read this story I just had to chew on the gum I had��Just like magic ��

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  3. I find it interesting that the man was storing his canes in what appears to be the leg from a pair of jeans. Very ingenious. Looks very easy to haul, especially if the bottom of the leg is sewn shut, like I assume it is.

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    1. Yes, I had noticed that too — a rather useful second life for a pair of jeans.

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