Sunday, 12 August 2007

Prickly Delights

It's the 'prickly season' in more than one sense of the term.

Prickly because the weather is hot and for that we have Prickly Heat powder. Prickly also because it is durian season - a fruit resembling the head of a medieval mace. Given the weight of each fruit and the hard spiky exterior I would not want to be walking under a tree when one fell.

About a 150 people a year are killed by falling coconuts but reports of fatalities from durians are rare. Some suggest this is because the fruit mainly fall at night? There are however accidents such as the 5kg durian falling on a granny's head.

Much is made a bout the stench of the durian. Public transport in Singapore will not allow its carriage but the odd 'whiff' is still discernible on the buses. Personally the smell has never worried me. Having travelled in Asia over the years I find that the smell of the durian bears little resemblance to the open sewers that many Westerners claim.

The fruit of the durian is delicious, with a capital "D" but is also very rich in taste and I find I can only eat two pieces at any one time - and never with wine!

The taste resembles as smooth Irish Cream liqueur without the alcohol. We bought our fruit for just $S1 on Friday. These were Thai durian, available at Redhill Market and of reasonably quality - the best usually come from Malaysia and Penang in particular. It was in Penang that I first tasted durian many years ago.

Tomorrow I start work at NUS and am looking forward to my new challenge. This afternoon will therefore be spent in rounding up all of the items I need to take on my first day.

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