Cycling into a Durian market
Today – totally unexpectedly – I was able to check one item off my ‘bucket list’. I must tell you right from the start that my list is not very ambitious. There are no such items as EFI-ing all 7Epics, no climbing of the 7 Summits, no free jumping (or is it falling), nor for that matter, attempting to visit every country on the planet.
You may have heard of a fruit called durian. It does not have a good reputation. No less an authority than the New York Times has called the it the smelliest fruit on earth. There are reports that the fruit has been banned from airplanes, hotels and mass transit – because this is one stinky fruit! A lot of people, however, ignore the smell for one very good reason. It tastes good. Really good.
Recently, while cycling on a beautiful quiet road, I came across a very unusual scene. Apparently it was the day that the durian attains its full ripeness and all the growers in the area had congregated to sell the fruit to the local wholesaler. I had never seen anything like this. Remember this is one putrefied fruit, or at least it smells like one. Coming upon the scene I got off my bike and, with a lot of apprehension, came closer and started taking pictures. After all, I was unsure if the smell would stick to my clothes or my skin.
My presence naturally did not go unnoticed and soon enough the buyer invited me for a tasting. With a nervousness I had not felt since planning to kiss my first date, I walked into the ring – in a manner of speaking. It actually did not smell so bad, or maybe I was just too distracted to notice. The buyer, realizing that I could do some good in publicizing his business, went from one farmer to another. He would pick up a fruit from their pile and take a whiff or two. This continued until he finally decided that one particular durian was the best. The durian was cut open with a machete and with a bravado that I did not think I still had, I took a bite and then another and another, while all the farmers anxiously looked at me. I felt like a celebrity taster at the Wine Olympics. Finally I pronounced; it is good. I like it.
So what does this have to do with my bucket list you may ask? Well, one of the items on my list was to taste a freshly picked durian fruit and to eat the worst smelling fruit on the planet. Thinking about it now, I am not sure I had accomplished this task as the fruit did not smell that bad. Maybe it smells bad a few hours or days after it had been picked.
Taste it for yourself on the 2015 Bamboo Road Expedition.