Is it possible for a fruit to be addictive??
We had tasted durian before, of course.
But then there was this fruit festival at the Institute where we work.
There were baskets and baskets of durian ... and when I say 'basket', I don't mean a little shopping basket!
It was Thursday afternoon, just before the weekend, and next week Ramadan (fasting month) will start when there will be no eating or drinking during the day.
The students put on some little song and dance shows ... and then everyone attacked the fruit with gusto.
The fruit can get pretty viscious, and it needs a firm grip and a sharp knife.
The ladies sat around and played, waiting for the men to open the durian. (And, yes, these three are actually our 'young lecturers', a special group of shining stars!)
And then there were mangosteens, and rambutans, and lots of cold cordial to wash it all down.
We consumed a considerable amount of durian, surprised to find that we were really really enjoying it.
Some people warned us that it could make us feel "heaty" (?), and it causes some people to faint. We were also told not to drink fizzy drinks. And then there were stories about raising blood sugar and increasing colesterol ... and yet everyone was getting stuck into the fruit with enthusiasm.
Well, we had the best sleep that night, and awoke feeling thoroughly refreshed. My blood sugar was the best it had been for a while.
The only thing was ... we couldn't stop thinking about durian, and wanting more!
Our Island Home - again!
So then we went down to Marang jetty to board the boat for another weekend on Kapas Island!
And at the jetty there is ... a market ... where they were selling - durian! So we bought a couple and took them across with us.
This time we had booked ahead to stay in one of the little A-frame huts at "Pak Ya" (Uncle Ya's) right on the beach under some tropical almond trees to remind us of Murray Island. That's Peter's Aussie flag beach towel hanging out front!
We only had one swim because the weather was a bit wild, the sea got rougher and rougher while we were there. But the fish were excited about the hard-boiled egg we offered them.
We relaxed with a good book on our verandah, and then at the cafe table, and chatted with Zah, one of the locals running the 'resort' for Uncle Ya.
It got a bit muggy in the afternoon, and I asked for a ...
.... well, I asked for an iced coffee, but didn't expect a black one! It was actually very nice, made with one of those coffee bags they like to use here. The coffee made from them is just slightly sweet.
We are planning to return to 'our' little shack in a couple of weeks. The whole deal - ferry, room, food, iced coffees - cost us about $50 (AUD)!
Sssshhh! Don't think about Durian!
Arriving back on the mainland, back in Kuala Terengganu, we found ourselves wondering whether the weekend markets would still be open, and whether they would have any ... durian.
Ummm, yes! and yes!
We no longer find the smell of them offensive, it's almost attractive. So we took them home to devour them.
I confess ... we devoured them both at one sitting. We should sleep well tonight!!
Oh, by the way - why is it addictive? Well, as far as we can tell from reading about it on the 'Net, besides having a bunch of wonderful vitamins and all sorts of good things, it has seratonin. Something we intend to investigate further ...
While we were in the market, we noticed another of our local favourites! These funny little green things, bits of leaves, are called 'dodol'.
Inside, they have a little glob of brown sticky stuff. It's make from palm sugar and sago, and takes hours and hours to cook, apparently. When it comes wrapped in these leaves, it also has an amazing smokey flavour.
So we are actually finding some Malaysian foods that we rather like.