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Saturday, 22 November 2008

Durian seller explains why only one seller needed

It had been a while since I'd last eaten some durian, so I headed down to my usual durian seller to get some. As I approached his stall, I found myself walking past stalls that sold a variety of products, like fresh food, stationery, electrical appliances and household items.

My durian seller saw me and called out to me. I was glad that he still remembered me, even though I had not patronised his stall for some time. He wrapped his broad arm around my shoulders and ushered me to a basket full of durians. As he picked at the durians, I enquired about his business. He roared with laughter, saying that business was always getting better.

"I suppose it helps that there are no other durian sellers around here," I noted.

"Why need so many durian sellers?" he asked. "My durians are best! No one else can sell durians as good as mine."

I nodded in agreement. It was true, his durians were always fleshy and sweet. "But still, I think it would be nice to sample other kinds of durians."

Immediately, he froze. Then he rose up, towering over me. For the first time, I realised just how much taller and bigger he was than me. His stern eyes froze me in my spot.

"What do you mean you want to try other durians?!" he demanded.

"Well..." I stammered, "it's just that I might like to, you know, broaden my tastes."

He plucked a durian out of the bunch in his basket and thrust it in my face. "I always give you good durians! I never compromise on my quality. You tell me, you ever taste a more delicious durian?"

The truth was, I'd never tasted any other durian. But I thought it wise not to provoke him further. Cautiously, I took the durian from him.

He grunted with approval. "You listen to me. If you can get the best durians from me, why do you want someone else's durians? If my durians always make you feel happy, why you want to risk feeling depressed with lower quality durians?"

I interjected. "Other durian sellers don't necessarily sell lower quality..."

But he cut me off. "All other durians are bad. You know why? Because only I have the best durians. You don't even need to ask, just take my word for it. I know people in other neighbourhoods got more than one durian seller. In the end, what happen? They become confused. Don't know whether this durian better or that one. They run around in circles. They argue with one another. Who wins? Nobody. Instead, everyone gets more frustrated."

He took another durian and tossed it at me. I caught it just before its thorny hide hit my face.

"You don't need any other durian sellers. You only need me. Understand?"

I nodded, clutching my two precious durians. I paid him for them, then slowly made my way out of his stall. As I walked, the aroma from the durians filled my nostrils. It was truly a sweet, sweet smell that left me intoxicated.

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Molly said...

The last time I went to a durian seller (maybe it's the same one?), I complained about how expensive his durians were. But he told me that the cost is shared by everyone in my family, so each person pays only a negligible amount.

Maybe. But my ah-ma said durians are too heaty to eat every day. I've since discovered the wonders of watermelons, oranges, apples, strawberries, bananas, etc. And no one is complaining that these other fruits stink...

Alan Wong said...

Hi Yuhui,

I just can't help wondering whether you are actually referring to our arrogant PAP govt when you are writing about this particular seller of this thorny fruit.

Well, even if you do not have the slightest intention but I think you have given a very good description of how some of us feel towards our current Govt. It's either you love it or you hate it, whether it is durians or our govt.

Yuhui said...

Molly - hmm, maybe it's because we're so used to eating durians, that's why we don't think negatively about them.

Alan - read of it what you will. ;)

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