One of the least confusing photos of the Philippines for me to confront: this was the first time I had fresh coconut. The vendor, this man, was so incredibly skilled with the machete. He went about his business with such dexterity that you could tell it was monotonous to him. First, off came the green outer husk. You can see piles of them near his feet. Then, he flipped the machete over, and went counterclockwise, using the hard edge to crack it all over. When there was room, he switched to a smaller, even sharper flaying blade, and scraped the inside of the brown inner husk like you’d scrape the sides of a baking pan. The lid would then pop off, and he’d collect the juice, and flay the delicate meat, dropping it into another bag. The process was simply mesmerizing.
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