The Coconut Man of Bali

March 3, 2014

Words by Chia Chong
Photography by Chia Chong and Hon Low*

One very hot and equally humid morning on the island of Bali, Hon and I stumbled across a villager harvesting coconuts.

With a sickle and machete strapped to his back, the coconut man started to climb a palm tree that was 4 stories high. Hand. Hand. Foot. Foot. No ropes, no safety harness. Nothing to break his fall.

We stood in awe, eyes squinting against the sun at his silhouette as he reached the top. When we could no longer see him, we could still hear his technique. Whoosh! Whack! As he loosened the coconuts from their cluster with his sickle and machete. Then, one by one, the fruit came barreling down – hitting the moist black earth with a loud thud.

Climb, climb, climb, thud, thud, thud. The coconut man scaled one tree after another that morning swiftly and with such ease that even Spiderman would have been envious.

Some time has passed since Hon and I saw the coconut man of Bali harvesting his crop.

I pause and think about him, dangerously high up the palm tree, each time I reach for a can of coconut milk in the grocery store.

*Introducing Hon Low, photographer, designer, Chia’s partner in crime and favorite travel companion, our first male contributor!!! Truth be told, he was actually there at the inception of Salted and Styled, behind the scenes, building the blog to make the ladies look great!

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