I came across this photo when cleaning up laptop files today.
It’s a photo of an orange peel.
In January 2011, I went to Morocco with two friends. Part of our itinerary was to go on a Sahara desert tour. Leaving from Marrakech, it would take about 1.5 days driving before getting to a camp site near the desert.
At the end of the first day on the road, our crew—us and three Spaniards—joined other similar desert tour takers and checked into an inn.
Then it’s dinner time.
There were about 4 or 5 crews all together, made up of people from different countries. We shared a table with a French family and three Japanese students who were studying abroad just like us.
Oranges, the speciality fruit of Morocco, came first as appetizers. We took turns to each pick up one, then started peeling.
Seeing how Japanese students peel oranges amazed us.
The way they peel is like a performance of art, with orange peels ending up like flowers. And it’s not only one of them to peel an orange like that, it’s all three of them. They told us this is how they peel oranges in Japan.
It is beautiful.
Later we started to do the same with the rest of oranges on the table. It was fun.
When we were heading back from Sahara to Marrakech. We stocked up oranges as snacks at a stop. In the Jeep, we started to peel oranges like flowers again.
So here it is, an orange peel lying on a fur-decorated dashboard in an old but funky Jeep driven by a Berber driver, with three Chinese girls kept on practicing the art of peeling oranges that they learned from Japanese peers.