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Wednesday, July 8, 2015


I have always been secretly pleased that the HDB market near my house has a little known durian hub. In previous years, it was easy to get cheap durians without having to queue and wait. For some reason, this year has been very atypical. There were hordes of people buying durians even at 6pm. 

And I mean HORDES!

I had the idea to do the counter-intuitive thing and buy durians in the morning. So, I was there at 7.30 am. It was not too hard to find a fellow still having breakfast but willing to sell me something. I bought 3 thorny fruits at a discount (they always give discounts anyway). 

I laughed out loud though. The vendor was husking my durians for me. My 3 thorny durians attracted a small crowd. They were looking at my durians with this expression of yearning and longing. Looking into their eyes, I could see their individual fantasies of biting into the creamy flesh, inhaling the ambrosia-like fragrance, savouring the sweet bitterness of Durian du Terroir de Pahang. Looking at their faces, it was like they were watching errr... porn. 

Hmmmmm... I can imagine all the pleasure centres of their brains lighting up.

I have the bad habit of imagining brains. Whenever I mark an assignment, I draw a mental picture of the child's brain and visualize which part of the brain is lighting up (as in an MRI scan). It started as a conscious effort to relate types of HW and types of worksheet design to this or that physical centre of the brain. Now, I do it unconsciously and as a reflex whenever I mark work. Things are getting worse because I now fantasize about what complete strangers' brains look like when I stare at them!!

And I laughed at my own mental picture of their brain pleasure centres lighting up!

This rush for durians is quintessentially Singaporean. I have gotten so used to buying groceries amidst a background noise of PRC accents that it was actually quite odd to queue up and buy durians amidst the buzz of pure Singaporean talk.

The other noteworthy thing is that durian lore has become like wine lore. There are durians of different strains and differents terroirs. Aficionados discourse knowledgeably about the distinctive favours and notes and slight fermentations of XO, Red Prawn, Cat Mountain King.

I like variety in my durians so I buy from the JiakBaLang basket. They are way cheaper than all the durians du terroir, and I have fun getting surprises on my tongue.

He interrupted his breakfast to sell me durians.

Try and imagine what their brains look like! So funny, no?

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