social stinker

I think I’ve gotten bored of blogging about my trip. I guess the art of toning down the actual experience for all audiences (mostly so I don’t offend any of the parties involved or incriminate myself) has taken the fun out of the story. I will eventually continue the saga. Just not right now. And this post is NOT about farting in public.

Today I was thinking about something that does relate to my trip. While in Thailand I ate durian. This might seem like a small thing, but really, this is a grand accomplishment. Trust me. Nothing mundane here. (Google if you must) I was actually NOT revolted when I ate. A miracle. (Only a few hours after, when I could still taste it on my breath.) Anyway, it wasn’t as bad as I expected, or remembered. My mom used to keep a “log” of dried durian in the refrigerator door. I think it was her way of keeping us from opening the fridge. I remember it being so stinky, we would gag when we opened the door. We equated its smell to the inside of our pet cocker spaniel’s ears. Disgusting. We sometimes called him “durian chunks” when he was really stinky.

Anyway, back to the trip. I would go so far as to say that I actually enjoyed eating durian in Thailand. I even bought some durian ‘chips’ as a snack to bring home. I gave one box to my friend (who likes durian??) and I kept one for myself. I opened that box a week or two ago, and ate a few chips. Crunchy. Smelly. Durian-y. I only had a few. Then I sealed the bag and put it in the freezer. There it has remained. I see it almost daily. I think about eating it, to make room for other things I want in the freezer, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. Today I was thinking about this.

Why can’t I bring myself to eat the durian chips? After some soul-searching, I’ve concluded that I am a social “stinker,” not unlike the social drinker. I only enjoy eating the stinky fruit in the company of others, and only while others are partaking. I don’t want to eat it by myself. It’s not fun. If someone was here with me, I think I’d have finished the bag already. That is what made the experience so pleasant in Thailand. I would never try or enjoy, or even imagine cracking open the spiky fruit on my own, digging into the golden, soft, pungent custard-like flesh on my own. NEVER! But doing it with someone somehow makes it an enjoyable experience. I’ll never forget the sense of belonging I felt, (even though I couldn’t understand a word) sitting among all the wives after dinner, passing around the world’s most stinky fruit, tasting, testing, comparing, conceding, joking, enjoying. It was like a right of passage. I could be one of them. I could eat the king of fruit. But now, I am alone. Anyone want to come over and share?

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