I was alarmed when I saw a street sign of my face with an “X” through it. Many people here in Singapore hate me. They hate others like me. Why does this always happen to me?
I was raised in a warm, tropical location by a single parent. I had many siblings growing up; too many to even count. People spread rumors about me like it’s their job. I am constantly a topic of gossip, especially with the foreigners. They say I’m smelly, they say I’m not worth it, and they even try to ban me from certain parts of the country…
I tell you the story of my everyday existence.
I am a Durian fruit.
You will get very different descriptions of durian depending on who you ask. The lovers will highlight the creamy texture and subtle sweetness that lingers after a bite. The haters will point out the unpalatable garlicky aftertaste masked by a hint of sugar. I am on the latter train. I describe it as a fatty yellow human organ-looking thing (heart, maybe liver) that was put in a jar with rotting onions and left for a few months and then sprayed with a few spritz of perfume to mask the taste. While that is certainly dramatic, it is not far from the truth in my expert opinion.
I was eager and ready, though my (VERY small) first bite does not show it. Things turned for the worse, and my facial expression tells the story of that:
I think Alexie shared my opinion:
BUT… there is hope for the fruit. Some people could not get enough of it. While our group had dinner beforehand and used durian as a “dessert” snack, Dr. Dan says he eats it for dinner. This raised red flags in my brain. Who is this guy?
All hate aside, the group agreed that this night will be one of the most memorable experiences here in Singapore. Sitting around the table and opening our minds to this new experience and our tongues to this new taste was incredible.
Eating Durian was not the only thing we did this day, though.
The day’s theme of “fragrances” began hours earlier. We started off the morning at Little India’s Tekka Market. This place was a sensory overload. It is a bright yellow and orange warehouse-y building with everything you can ever want in life — from delicious Indian dishes to fruits and spices to any raw seafood imaginable. We spent quite a long time inhaling the intense sea-smelling air and admiring the various fish, shark, mussels, oysters, and beyond that filled the space in full form.
After eating from the tasty hawker stands or exploring the seafood/meat stands, full-bellied folks can take the stairs up to the second level, where Indian shops selling colorful dresses and other clothing, bags, Bollywood movies, and much more await.
This day will be remembered as one filled with many unique experiences for us all. After all the foul fragrances that we subjected ourselves to throughout the day, all I have to say is I feel bad for the people on our bus ride home.