RRRRLLLLRRRRLLLL…. the drums rolled….
Hi! If you have just landed on this particular post, please first read my previous post (The Mystery of the Thorny Fruit). Otherwise you will end up with what the Hokkiens usually say “Bo thau uu buoy“, or literally translated as No head with a tail , ie a story that has an end but no beginning. That’s not cool, eh? So, all you need to do is click on my last post, read and then come back to this post. The last piece of the jigsaw puzzle lies somewhere on this particular write-up 😉 Ready? Now, sit back and relax…
I believe you know who you are 😉 Before I announced the winner(s), I thank you for your time spent reading my short mystery story and leaving your verdict(s) on my last write-up (posted May 21, 2010). I was blown away by some of your comments. Brilliant! Crafty! Ingenious! Who wouldn’t be if you were role-playing the sleuth him-/her-self, right?
You know, it is almost a sin not knowing what a durian (aka “the king of fruits”) is if you have lived in the part of the globe where I grew up in Sarawak on the island of Borneo! Now that I’m miles and miles away from the continent of Asia, I sometimes get FAQs about that thorny fruit. What does it taste like? Is it really smelly like what we have read and heard?
Nope, I did not respond to the question(s) right off. The best way is to get AROUND the question itself, going through all the 5 senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste). I retorted, “Do you like bananas?” The answers were almost always positive. Well, the texture of the durian flesh is closest to a banana or a ripe avocado, because durians are not pulpous or sappy like any of the citrus fruits we know. No matter how much pressure you put on a durian flesh to extract the “juice”, the result is ZILCH! No juice! Only mushy durian flesh, like you would get if you mashed your bananas! Bananas are sweet and so are durians! Sadly, more often than not, the “king of fruits” is crucified for it’s odour. It’s that sense of smell that has ignited such mania across the globe! Durian is a durian in any language. Kudos to an English, Greek, French, Turkish, American, Dutch, Russian, Swedish, Finnish, Spanish, Hindi, etc, etc, etc for speaking a Malay word! Bravo! LOL!
There are so many websites on and about durians. Read the wiki first before delving into the nitty gritty of the matter. Here’s one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durian
I’m far from being a connoisseur of this thorny fruit; however, I read there are more than 200 varieties of durians! Do check out some of the popular Malaysian varieties on this website: http://www.asiaexplorers.com/malaysia/penang_durian.htm
For the courageous lots, here’s a website specially designed for you: http://www.durian.com.my/
I suspect there is one variety of durian that is least known and probably only found in Borneo. Sarawakians take pride and ownership of this specie of the thorny fruit. We called this variety, Regieng (Melanau lingo), and that was the crux of the mystery story in my previous post 😀
Close up of a bunch of Regieng, through the courtesy of the photograper, my youngest sister. Taken in Kuching, Sarawak. Thanks, Da ( nicked from your blog ;-))
The flesh of the Regieng varies from yellow to orange to red in colour. God, I love the bittersweet taste of this gem! It’s awesome! Another photo nicked from my sis. LOL!
Dear readers, these were the little spiky gems that sparked the mystery! Farmer Regieng was so named for a reason. He owned the Regieng farm on the island of Borneo!
Remember the scribbled notes?
Stench of decayed carcasses, rotten eggs, damp socks, stale vomit, vanilla essence, nutty, human faeces, dog shit, pig sty, onion, a bucketful of broiled kidneys, skunk secretion.
These were some of the descriptions we hear from any less adventurous Johnny-come-latelies when trying the durian for the first time. That’s why I introduced the “stinky” 4 characters: Putak, Manek, Kenulat and Temih to yield the most revolting concoction ever! Out of these 4 characters, one of them was the odd one out. He “stunk”, or rather, stung (you know? pun?) in the sense of touch (prikly… and remember bees sting, too), while the other three “stunk” in the literal sense of smell. Hmmmm… the plot thickens.
Coming back to the one vital question Chief Tuk’ng asked the 4 diplomats: Should you be given another chance to enter any one of the 4 cells, which one would it be?
I mentioned that each cell measured 2m x 2m. The average height of a Borneon Male is 1.68m. Imagine combining some human faeces, dog shit and a bucketful of broiled kidneys and placed that in the cell for 8 hours with minimal ventilation? What do you end up with? Yep, the lingering odour of the sewage!
Why 8 hours? I chose this number of hours to depict the cycle of one work day.
What was the purpose of the sodium bicarbonate? In a cycle of an 8-hour work day, one is advised to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses or mugs of liquid. At least that’s the amount of liquid I drink each work day. A quick calculation would give us a total of at least 3 litres of liquid. But 5 litres of soda water? The excess consumption of soda water will build up gas in the stomach and esophagus. This is then expelled as a belch or burp. Hmmmm….. have you wondered at this point which suspect had the most extraordinary smelling breath?
Why the 4 diplomats? Well, of course, they were the jury, people from all walks of life, sworn in to deliver their impartial verdict. In Malaysia, a suspect is innocent until proven guilty.
So, who was the guilty culprit in the story?
The hint I gave in my footnote was: Death upon arrival. Think cryptically 😉 Take the first letter of each word and you end up with “Dua” (duo in Latin or two in English). So, yes, it was suspect number dua, or duo, or two!!
Cheers to you who have pinned down the right suspect. A pity, though, most of you did not elaborate your verdict.
I want to mention that there are NO losers. EVERYONE is a winner, because participating is better than winning!
Since I have to mention a winner or winners, the Gold medal goes to Astrid (who included mentioning the vanilla essence plus nutty aroma which matched the bittersweet taste of the Regieng), the Silver goes to Gerard and the bronze to Ah Seng. Hey, nobody goes empty handed on my blog, because ALL of you deserved a story from me, so stay tuned 😉
One for the road….. here’s a geometric puzzle.
Draw a straight line on the face of a clock, which should give you exactly the same total on both halves. Now, where would you draw your straight line?
I know you will get the answer EVENTUALLY, but time is the essence. How long did it take you to solve the puzzle?
By the way, this was a third grade Math question on my younger son’s test paper 😀
Have a great week ahead and see ya soon!