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This shaved-ice seller is so jaded, he doesn’t even look at the water, or glance at the pale sunbather beside him. I wonder what he’s listening to on his MP3 player, and how clean his hand is as he leans it atop one of the syrup bottles. Perched on his cart in front of the green bowl is a can of condensed milk. I know without getting close that it has two holes poked in the top, one big, to allow the condensed milk to flow over the shaved ice, and the other small, to let the air in, like my mother used to make so that the Hawaiian Punch in the giant blue cans sometimes found in our avocado-green ’70s era side-by-side Amana refrigerator flowed freely, and didn’t splash on the flecked orange countertops.
Samara, Costa Rica. I didn’t have a shaved ice, but if they’d had Hawaiian Punch-flavored syrup, I probably would have.