A Girl’s Guide to Mysore, Part Five - Coconut Lessons
I don't know how I'll live without fresh coconuts back in the states... Here's a picture of Shanna and me with my tiny coconut and her HUGE coconut. There are coconut stands all over Mysore. You are almost certain to find a coconut in any neighborhood. They're a wonderful source of electrolytes and clean hydration in a city where the tap water is unsafe.
My local coconut stand in the heart of Gokulam is a daily stop. There are three types of coconuts available at the Guru Coconut Stand:
1. Just Water
2. Hard Meat
3. Jelly Meat
Somehow the coconut gurus know exactly which coconut will have what inside of it. In this picture Shanna has a coconut with hard meat in it. These coconuts are usually a little bigger and have much less water. When you're finished drinking the water, you give it back to the little coconut man and he hacks it open so you can eat the hard coconut meat. In the picture I have a water coconut, which is usually (but absolutely not always) a bit smaller than the others. This coconut just has water in it. The third type has coconut meat like jelly inside it. Once again, you drink the water and then give it back to the coconut man so he can hack it open and scoop out the jelly meat for you to eat with a mini spoon/scraper he creates from a piece of your coconut. I prefer just water, but sometimes I'm in the mood for one of the other varieties.
These coconut men have a stand just a minute's walk from our yoga shala and you can always see a gaggle of western yoga students and Indians alike gathered to get some hydration. Even though it's super close, the coconut guys are savvy businessmen and almost always have a mobile coconut cart outside the yoga shala in the morning for us students to buy after practice in the mornings. I'd say about 99% of us drink a coconut or more every single day! I've heard of one guy who drinks 10 every day!
The coconut guys are masters of their machetes and super efficient in whacking off the tops of these amazing coconuts. For some thrill-seeking reason, Shanna wants to learn to cut her own coconut open and one of the nice young coconut men said he'd teach her. I'll remain a camera person...stay tuned for the video.