Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Apple, Oranges and Durians


I have a new toy and I am blogging for the first time using it.

I never thought of having one - not in my lifetime anyway. For one it was too expensive for me, and of course the scarcity of software in my related field would not encourage people like me to convert from DOS in the ancient days or Windows in modern era, despite it being the most advance operating system then (and even now, I guess, though it is debatable).

I guess we can't resist giving our monies away to one Mr Bill Gates.

But I decided that I want to give a try after seeing a European colleague using one. It comes with dual operating system; Windows XP or Vista and of course a Mac OS. Honestly I thought it is cool; the design is cool and Mac OS is fast.

Then again, today is only on my second day and would blog more once I get the hang of it.

I would like to, one day, use a Malaysian computer with the name of Durian! Would it be a best seller like the Apple?

And to commemorate our tropical fruits, especially the King, I would like to re-post my entry from a year ago (July 14, 2007) in this blog. This year I had for the first time in years - if not decade, bought 3 fruits for RM10, and I have to admit that it was well worth my RM10.

And you know that it is durian season when you have sore-throat and cough! And of course the Durian song by Mr Os.

Oh kome, deghoyan udah luruh

Aaaah, the fruit with the smell from hell, and the taste from heaven...

So...the durian season is here again, eh? Stalls are sprouting out everywhere in KL like 'cendawan lepas hujan'. Good la. I love the durian but for the fact that my two kids hate the smell [1], I have not bought any for the past decade or so. As far as the durians are concerned, the car and the house are off limit. We are never to transport them in it, or bring one home!
Of course like many true blue Malay guys, having a durian orchard for my retirement years is something that is always on my mind. It is in the Malay guys' psyche I guess. Tranquility while waiting for the heavenly durian to fall! [2]

Many years ago, I was that close to buying a piece of land in Batu Kurau for that purpose. It didn't work out. I should have. Every durian season I am reminded of that African proverb that says "The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago." [3]

Of course Batu Kurau and Bukit Gantang - make that Taiping, are well known for quality durians. I believe they hold the Pesta Durian Bukit Gantang every year - we may just missed it this year (1 July?). They are all coveted by the durian connoisseurs from all over.

I love having pulut with kuah durian (sticky or glutinous rice with durian gravy) for tea. Someone just told me of another version of this. Hers is pulut with (slightly) 'salty-ish raw santan and (raw) durian' all meshed up to make a thick gravy - uncooked mind you. The durian would still have it textures, unlike its thinner cooked durian gravy counterpart. Hmm... yummy..sounds "durilicious" to me. High cholesterol though, I was warned. We only live once, I retorted.

How about gulai tempoyak, and of course the tempoyak (fermented durian) itself? Perakians are supposed to love all these dishes. Dodol (durian). Lempuk. Wajik (durian). Bubur kacang durian. I can even find durian ice cream in Houston. In Jakarta, durian drink too.

I used to drive one car full of Mat Sallehs from Kuantan airport to Kerteh. We dropped by at Kijal, which is noted for its durian in Terengganu for their first initiation of the king of fruits. One guy luvs it, the others can't handle them at all. "Taste like a cement paste," one Japanese friend Oiwa-san would tell me. I doubt it that he has tasted cement paste before. I think he was saying that based on his sight and touch senses - the texture is much like a paste. He is better off not liking it though - a single (frozen) durian fruit would cost something like 10K yen in his home town Tokuyama.

I dislike Thai durians...no, no dislike is too mild. Actually I hate Thai durians. They are not durians at all with little smell and production-like sizes (I think them as mutant in term of their sheer size). Many Thai types would give a bitter after-taste compared to our mostly sweet after-taste. It is more fun with kampung durians. One can never know what to expect - it is like opening a treasure chest. Taste from one tree will differ from another, and since typically it may be of many different sizes, one can have the best of many worlds in term of taste. Give me kampung durians anytime, or give me no durian at all!

Hey, anyone remember this funny song from Mr Os? It is a catchy song in the Perak dialect released circa 1986. I thot it was very well written. I luv the part in that you have many relatives during the durian season (who would disappear as soon as the last durian falls)! Yeeah, and when it come to menebas, batang hidung pun tak nampak!....hahahaha..Os Os...sebijik deme bagi..

Click here to listen.

Oh kome durian dah berbunga
Moh kite minang anak dara
Anak dara anak dara Bota
Teman jumpa di padang tenggala

Oh kome deghoyan udah luruh
Lebih baik cepat pegi suluh
Lambat sikit kome dapat habuk
Kalau tido jawabnya tinggai pokok

Duit deghoyan yang tua nak ke Mekah
Yang muda gatai nak menikah
Musim degohyan ramai sedara mara
Bila menebas seeko tak nampak muka


[1]. I remember that Arif would scream and cry whenever he came into smelling distant of the durians. "Busuk, busuk," he would cry. He would get upset if his mom would touch the durian flesh - he knew that's the very hand that would prepare him his meal. Akmal is less adverse to the durians tho he does not like them either.

[2]. I wonder why we didn't produce a great scientist who would come up with the theory of gravity while waiting for the king of fruits to fall. Then it occured to me that we might have, had he not been killed by the falling durian while sleeping under the durian tree. So that was the end of Isa Nasution (a North Sumatran) and it was then left to an Englishman named (Sir) Isaac Newton and his falling apple! Ah well...

[3]. There is a second part to the African proverb. "The second best time is today!" Now, while we can lament on the what-ifs of life, and the durian trees that we all wished we had planted a decade ago, we can still plant it right now. And that's the beauty of the African proverb as we have no one else but ourselves to blame if we didn't do it.

Nowadays economically, it may not be worth it to have a durian orchard except for the fun of it. Durian at the height of the season can be quite cheap, bordering to worthless. Especially if the season coincides with the fasting month. I do remember a few years ago, durian was so cheap, you can have a bunch of them for a ringgit!


  1. fromjawitonewcastleAugust 6, 2008 at 6:16 AM

    Bro, u'll love your new toy, no doubt about it, I've been using it for almost a year now, and will not change back to Windows. Google about tricks you can do with the touch pad, they are amazing

  2. My version of 'nasi durian' is very much simpler. Prepare a cup of warm salty water (just to taste), a spoon or two granulated white sugar, a plate of rice and raw durian flesh. Mix them up and you have nasi durian versi Terengganu... yummy yummy... my hometown. Zaki

  3. i made a big mistake of reading ur entry while i'm hungry. just wondering why the children don't follow the obsession of their parents in durian.

  4. hahahahahahhahahahha

    i laughed hard when i read about your wonder on a durian scientist!!!

    haahhaah, very funny indeed.

    eh, u mean u have ample time to wonder about a durian scientist ah? your work still not enuf ah?

    durian durian...

  5. Dear Prof

    You are far too advance than me for using it much earlier than I did. Will learn about the touch pad for sure!

    Dear Zaki,

    I didnt know you are Ganu kite. Nasik durian? Hmmm, didnt see it the four years or so I was there; though I am not sure if I want to try that to be honest.

    Dear Li

    Haha, but if u r hungry, I am quite sure u wud not be thinking of durian, right? Then again, u r talking about kids in the new millennium. We developed our 5 sense in the kampung with worst smells than the durians, so the mercaptan sulphur smell of durian is so sweet to our nose!

    Dear sis,

    I made that story up thinking about the durian last year lah. During that time (July 07), I didn't have much work; was only waiting for contract. So tak der keroje ler teman masa tu!

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