Friday, June 09, 2006

The Good, the Ugly and the Really Really Bad

I bought some little round brown fruits from a fruit vendor who informed me that they tasted like lychees, only sweeter. I was the only one brave (or stupid) enough to try them and they are obviously more closely related to quinces!! My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth and my throat felt like I had swallowed some of the desert sand. DH and DD both got sore stomachs - from laughing at my puckered mouth. Tomorrow I am going back to that fruit vendor to teach him a few choice Afrikaans swear words! (I am still drinking water and trying to speak normally).

It took all our courage, but we did actually try one of the strange new fruits - dragon fruit. A beautiful, appetizingly bright pink fruit, the size of a grapefruit, with pure white flesh and tiny black pips. One cost us a fortune, but we felt it was worth it because it looked so delicious. We cut it up and munched - and spat out! It tasted of absolutely NOTHING. Like chomping on polystyrene. It obviously spent all its energy on looking good and forgot about taste (mmm, sounds like some people I know!). So much for dragon fruit - yech.

The latest epicurian (eating) misadventure is a durian ...

A durian is a prickly, pawpaw sized fruit and this is what they say about them on the Internet :

"Tastes like apple and banana custard, with a texture between custard and porridge. Creamy and yummy. "

There are many internet sites devoted to durians, including poetry written about them... are you starting to get suspicious? Well, not me, yet. In some countries, you are not permitted to transport them on public transport or into hotels because of their smell .... does that make you want to rush out and try one? Well, I did ....

They lie!! Durians do not have a smell - they have a STENCH, which can be described as : a sewer full of rotting pineapples, skunks, decaying rotten eggs - well, you get the picture.
I just HAD to try it - I paid Dh40 (!!) for one, transported it home in DH's new car - which now has a semi-permanent smell of dirty nappies, cut it open and infused the entire house with it's whiff (which is actually visible - floating on the air!!) and actually scraped out the slimy, squashy insides and ate it.
Before we go any further, let me give you some Life Advice - Wherever you are, whatever you do, don't ever, and I mean EVER !!! eat a Durian. Don't listen to what people say about it smelling bad, but tasting good - it tastes worse than it smells.
Today I found a truthful description which says that they taste like a mixture of Stilton cheese, bananas, garlic, whiskey, honey and various other unmentionables. Now, that is closer to the truth. Why would anyone want to each such a thing? I think they should bottle the smell and use it to bomb the enemy - any war would be over in a matter of minutes.
I know what you are thinking - why does she not learn? Stop trying those weird fruits and vegetables. But, just the names, like rambuttans, mangosteens, chikoos, sound so exotic and conjure up images of faraway, mysterious lands .... and so DM is caught again and again and again.

Deja View

The next couple of posts were on my blog previously, but were lost when I revamped the blog. I want to make sure that all the posts are definitely on, so if you (as an "old" reader) have read these posts already - I apologise, there will be new ones soon...... promise!!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Where are all the sick people?

A recent report stated that every company will now have to employ 2 disabled persons on their staff. I think this is a superb idea, but .... I wonder where they are going to get all these disabled persons? Truthfully, when last did you see a cripple, or a blind person, or an amputee or someone in a wheelchair, or anyone with a physical or mental disability? I have been here almost 2 years and in all that time, I have seen one person in a wheelchair and yesterday saw someone who obviously had Downs Syndrome.
I haven't even seen anyone with a broken leg or arm, or even anyone with a bandage - the most "disabled" person I have seen had a plaster on his forehead where he hit his head on a cupboard.
So, where are all the disabled people? In fact, where are all the old people too? Don't see many of them around either.
What happens to you when you get old or hurt?
Okay, I presume that old, sick, disabled expats are shipped back to their countries, but surely UAE residents suffer from age and accidents, just like the rest of us humans? Or is it really a country populated with only rich and beautiful people?
OMG, I am so old and fat and ugly, I guess MY time will soon be up .........

Oh, I have just seen this article on another blog - great minds must think alike!!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Talking Dates ... again ...

I have discovered dates ... not the hard, compressed bricks that we are used to - but fresh, sweet and succulent. There are many different types of dates - depending on the country they are from. ("Experts" tell me the best are from Syria or Lebanon). Here they are served plain as an appetiser to stave off hunger, raw, stuffed with nuts and various other stuffings, in cold food, in hot food, as a syrup (VERY yummy! Try it!!), as a flavouring for milk (not bad) and as ingredients in many sweets and desserts. We even had date tea at the Emirates Palace Hotel - As a total tea hater, it converted me - YUMMMMMY. I am sure if the country was not so anti-alcoholic, they would find a way to make date wine .... now THAT sounds good!!

This time of the year the date palms are again pregnant with the promise of a bountiful crop of gold. (Wow! How's that for waxing lyrical....!!)

And, now I have discovered the ultimate date ... frozen. These delicious little bombs of ice cold sweetness are so addictive, someone is bound to ban them soon - so try them if you ever see them - and remember, you heard it HERE first!!