It’s the heady wafts of durian everywhere. I am OK but some people are partially choked by it. My olfactory nerves aren’t bludgeoned by the durian smell as I like the similar strong smell of pekasam and belacan stuff.
As I step out of my car, a pak cik with smelly sweat-stained T-shirt welcome me. It is just a small stall by the roadside on the way back from my office.
“Durian, durian, durian..big one, small one..choose, from local kampung and durian kahwin”.
A scooter suddenly parked next to me. It’s my friend who thought my car ran out of fuel. I am okay, just want to look out how much they sell durian here. My friend was relieved and quickly started his scooter and go. I feel a bit overwhelmed and guilty for not asking him to browse through the price together.
“Mana ni, pak cik?” “Sik”. Short conversation to start with.
The burly man with a rounded face flicks his chin at me as I hand him a few durians I have chosen. “Berapa sekilo?” “Jual biji”. “Ha!” “Ini murah, ni!” He tried to convince me it is, even more, cheaper to buy without weighing as durian contains thick, hard shell and sharp thorn more than the edible flesh altogether.
Somehow, when I look at his eyes, I tend to believe this poor kampung vendor who is here to sell fruit only once per season. Ok, why don’t I give a try?
I don’t like eating durian by squatting on the ground like many people did when testing to buy durian. I quickly ask the birdy vendor to incise the thick skin and pinch the fleshes to get an idea that they already ripen readily for immediate consumption.
“Berapa?” “60!” “Wow!” “Murahhh lah! Saya bagi dua lagi”. I look again at the yellowish custard flesh and felt in love instantly. “Tiga tu ka?” “Ya!” “ok!”
In less than half an hour I reached home. My son is likened to hantu pulut durian (a fond durian lover). He asked my wife: “..mak, malam ni kita makan pulut durian” Pulut durian is indeed a glutinous rice steamed with coconut milk and served with ripened durian.
The taste of pulut durian is hard to describe. The consequence of eating it, is even more, harder to describe as it may be likened to a steamy, risky forbidden love affair with a secret lover. The feel hot sensation accompanied by mild tachyarrythmias makes you awake for hours feeling guilty with pleasure for the rest of the night.
Born in Kedah. Studied at Alam Shah, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and King's College, University of London. Previously, acted as Head, Dept of Psychiatry, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia. Currently, works as Professor of Psychiatry at Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah International Islamic University, Kedah. Married and blessed with 4 grown-up children.
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