What’s All This Talk About How Bad Durian Smells

IMG_0711So it doesn’t smell like roses. Who or what does? A rose I guess and we’ve got them too, pretty pink ones growing out front, along with some corn and a few other things.

So what’s all this chatter about Durian? I mean, have you seen the signs around here, and in most of Asia. You would think Durian is public enemy number one. I mean come on. You can take off your stinky shoes in front of a temple, but you can’t eat Durian on a bus. Let’s get real here, no guns, no drugs, no smoking–and what? No Durian! What is this world coming too. I mean banning an innocent fruit from my hotel suite, but letting me indulge in all sorts of debauchery here in Asia! Madness, that’s what it is…

I had to try it for myself, and since I rent and don’t own I figured I’d run it past my landlord. “Landlord,” I said. “Yes, foreigner, what is it now?” “Do you want 24hour electricity again?” “Your American TV shows?” “Your news channels?” “No,” I said. “I just want to buy some Durian, and eat it in my kitchen.”

He seemed to be cool with it so I sent the wife down to buy a little of it. I was anticipating the smell would knock me out, running upstairs to get my gas mask, or a close pin for my big foreigner nose. She entered the house and the Durian was in the bag. “I don’t smell anything,” I said to her. She slowly removed the spindly fruit. I know why it doesn’t smell, I thought, its wrapped in that hard shell like material. When that opens up I’d better be ready.

My wife is good with a knife. She slashed and cut and sawed and cut some more. Wow, she really does know how to use that thing–best be careful, you know those stories of jealous Thai wives and knives and ducks. Oh my God I was starting to panic. Run and get me the yellow pill dear. “Busy,” was all she said, the knife held steady, a yellowish piece of fruit removed from its hidey hole.

I was ready to run for the hills as if someone dropped a ton of nerve gas over the premises. I sniffed the air like a scared dog. Nothing. I didn’t smell a thing. Sure I smelled something, but it wasn’t what I expected. “It doesn’t smell,” I said.

I tasted a bit of it, and it tasted good–to me like a banana. Sure, almost like a banana. I was OK, I was back, having drifted off to crazy land for a few minutes. I’m back, I yelled inside my head so my landlord wouldn’t think I was just another crazy foreigner who expects running water and regular trash pick-up.

So what’s all his chatter about Durian? Why does it have such a bad rap anyway? I mean, look at the sign, man!



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