It was an opportunity that I couldn't decline. Last month while I was visiting Durian Seng's durian farm in Sungai Pinang - on the other side of Penang island - he asked me whether I had the time to follow him and his friends down to Kuala Lumpur.
Well, I was all game. As I said earlier, this was an opportunity not to be missed. Six hundred durians. Of the best quality. From Balik Pulau, Penang. All the Hor Lors, Red Prawns, Bak Eus and whatever else. I'd be surrounded by a treasure trove of the finest quality durian.
On the day we were supposed to go down to KL, Durian Seng called. Sorry, he said, his customer has now requested 900 durians and so, he has to use the morning to source for more fruits from his siblings' farms. You see, it's not only his farm alone that's producing those durians. He has several brothers, all durian orchard owners too, but he is the most visible among them.
Eventually, he came to Bukit Mertajam and picked me up at about 12.30pm. By the time we arrived in Kuala Lumpur, it was 5.30pm. Just about one and a half hours left to unload the fruits and wheel the containers into the clubhouse.
It's funny how people can react to durian with the wildest abandon. When it comes to this fruit, sometimes they lose all their reservations and inner inhibitions and you see their starkest, unadulterated characters. Their behaviour is either at their best or their worst. So if you are a student of behavioural science, you can certainly draw conclusions from seeing how people react to the durian fruits.
Anyway, this was just my observation. At 11.30pm, we started packing up for the long drive back to Penang. We left the clubhouse way past midnight and I reached home at about 5.30am. Funny though, despite the long drives and the hard work, I didn't feel tired at all. I only managed to catch some sleep at nine in the morning. But it took me two days to get over the experience and return to my normal routine. And I still don't know anything about opening a durian with a penknife.