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Did you hear the joke about the monk who walked up to the Durian stall?

No? Me neither. But it sounds like the start of a good joke.

In the meantime, I’ll take a durian and a tattoo please.

I mentioned (quite poetically!) a few days ago that I was going to try Durian again.  Well, the verdict is in:  Still a no-go.  But on the positive side, I was able to swallow it this time and the smell was not so offensive.  I’m thinking that maybe if I keep trying I’ll acquire a taste for it – much like acquiring a taste for beer or healthy vegetables you don’t like but know you should.  Because I really think that if I liked durian, it would definitely give me some street cred…

Anyways, the epic outing was captured on film and we even came up with our own Durian haiku poems:

Butter in fruit form
Albeit slightly rancid
Makes one dread belching.
– Beth

For better or for worse, I’ve agreed to participate in a “Durian Lunch Excursion” mañana with a few colleagues for lunch.  I didn’t quite enjoy the taste or texture of the durian the last time I tried it, but I’m hoping that the fruit will grow on me, or at least my presence on this little excursion will put me in the good graces of my Singaporean office-mates.

In honor of this impending event, I’ve come across a little poem from Chris Mooney Singh on 13 Ways of Looking at a Durian.  Below is an excerpt:

The smell of the durian is overpowering,
The taste of the durian causes memory dysfunction.

The land of the Durian Eaters
Is the land of the Lotos Eaters
There is a problem with time.
There is a problem with credit cards.

Some love durians,
Others can’t stand durians.
The government, fearing public calamity
Won’t allow them near the MRT.

In reality, lovers of the durian
Are seed-souls from another star.
The plain-thinking earth-born
Cannot stomach durians.

…and it tasted like a dirty gym sock.  Well, it smelled like a dirty gym sock, and it was hard to get past that.  I’d say the consistency was similar to an avocado.  A little slimier.  Maybe more like a brie or Camembert cheese.  So in summation, eating durian was like eating a sweet, cheesy, slimy, gym-sock-smelling avocado.

Apparently you can “acquire a taste” for it if you keep trying it, but why anyone would want to do that is beyond me.

Anyone sold?

I made it!  The 24-hour travel business wasn’t so bad after all.  I was able to sleep a bit and watch lots of movies.  Also – Qantas Airlines serves Quinoa salads.  Amazing, right?   I had my usual bad luck when it came to my “neighbors”: the man sitting next to me on the way to London had really bad breath and desperately wanted to tell me all about all the places he had ever been to in his life (EVER), and the man sitting next to me on the way to Singapore was really obese and shouldn’t have been sitting in economy class.  Someday I’m going to sit next to a normal person..

I haven’t had a chance to check out the city yet, but it is worth noting that there was a special sign in the taxi cab that said “NO DURIAN.”  Click here for an explanation.

I think Eric and Thoa are taking me to Chinatown tonight for dinner.  I’m already excited!

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