I am wary of brands. I always feel that much of the hype that surrounds branded goods emanates from advertising. 10% of your price is the cost of the product and 90% is the cost of that actress and the producer and the director and the photographer who make that advertisement showcasing that elusive dream.
I mean... come on... woman in flowing robes on horseback galloping on a beach with stunning make-up... well... the reality is that if I were on that horse, none of my robes would be flowing because I would be hanging on for dear life and jiggled about on a runaway horse. I have ridden before. You know, those tourist trails where the horses follow each other and it doesn't matter if you can't really ride because the horse knows where to go?
Horses (like babies, dogs and cats) have personalities. They either respect you, or they don't. Both times I rode, my horse had absolutely no respect for me. Both times, the horse stopped at every clump of grass and chewed. Then, when both understood that the rest of the horses were far in front, they galloped. Man! They really galloped and I was bopped up and down like a hapless water bottle. So yup... women on galloping horses (selling branded handbags and shoes) have little allure for me.
When it came to durians, I thought the same. Musang King is a sexy name for a durian. I ain't gonna pay through my nose for a brand, said I.
Well, I have changed. I really must admit that the Musang King is a yummy durian.
I came across durians at NTUC Fairprice in styrofoam boxes. I decided to buy one box at $15. I ate it and it tasted rather mehhhh... so I thought that if I was gonna eat something mehhhh... I might as well eat a cheaper mehhhh. So, I went back and bought 3 boxes for $10.
Since 3 boxes are too much durian for me, I gave a box to Mother-in-Law and stored the other 2 in the fridge to chill. Cold durians are nice!
Mother-in-law came by shortly after calling for Milo. She wanted to feed the box of durians to Milo because she very kindly called them "Thai Durians" when actually, I am pretty sure they were just Bad Durians and might not have come from Thailand. I was peeved a bit because I thought it was rude of her to diss my gift.
Then, I sat down to eat those durians. I kid you not. They tasted like chalk. No cream. Just fibrous, dry chalk. I gave the chalk to Milo who eats everything and anything (including carrots, apples and salads with vinaigrette surreptitiously passed under the dining table by a Smelly Boy who hates his greens). Milo wouldn't eat it!
He gave me a look that said, "Seriously!? You are giving me this to eat?"
I was most embarrassed by then because I had given Mother-in-Law a box durians that even a dog would not eat. I absolutely had to redeem myself so I dragged The Husband to a proper durian stall with rows and rows of dignified and majestic Musang King durians. We bought 1 durian which filled 2 boxes. We kept one and gave the other to Mother-in-Law.
I bit into the Musang King durians in my box and it felt like I was staring into the depths of Takeshi Kaneshiro's eyes.
So, that was how I realised that branded durians are not at all like galloping on a horse along the beach.