I remember being five or six years old, and watching my grand-dad bring home durians. Those days, durians didn’t come in styrofoam boxes but in big brown paper bags containing the entire fruit – prickly husk and all. The adults would get all excited and we would spread out old newspapers on the living room floor. My grand-dad would bring out the kitchen chopper and start opening up the fruits. I didn’t eat durians as a child but loved watching him open up the fruit section by section, and trying to guess if there were any more durians left in the fruit. Sometimes, he would pry open a durian only to find worms or watery fruit and the adults would exclaim "aiya! 臭的!" and start cursing the dishonest durian seller. Then everyone would sit on the floor, savour the creamy flesh of the durians and talk. It made for an evening of warm family time.
Last weekend, The Hubs and I found ourselves faced with a couple of the prickly fruit. The Mom had come back from a Malaysian plantation bearing D24s and Durian Kunyits. To cut a long story short, the two of us had to figure out how to open the damn fruit. With no chopper in the house, we armed ourselves with a kitchen knife, a steak knife, the kitchen scissors and brand new pair of gardening gloves. Relying on our childhood memories, we laid newspapers on the living room floor and basically just did what we remembered seeing our parents/grandfathers do. And hey, we did pretty well and had all the fruit packed into plastic containers within 45 minutes. But I was left wondering. With families getting smaller these days and with more parents and children spending most of their time glued to the TV, Internet and iPads, what will make up precious childhood memories of tomorrow?