Durian

IT’S DURIAN SEASON.

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I’m sure most of you have at least heard of this legendary fruit. Durian is a big deal where I am from. Some of the best durians are reputed to come from Penang island.

There are actually many cultivars of durian, and they all have really funky sounding names worthy of small time thugs.

thug

It is impossible to properly describe the odour and flavour of a durian without actually encountering one in the flesh. I have heard many descriptions ranging from mango and papaya to rotten onions soaked in turpentine. Very colourful, but not very useful.

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I went to the market this morning with my aunts to pick some durian. It was super fascinating to watch the sellers pick and cut durian.

sniff

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Sometimes a durian borer appears in the durian, which is quickly fed to the seller’s prize-winning Arowana as durian borer sashimi.

feed

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My relationship with durian is complicated. I think I used to kind of like it as a kid, and then while on vacation in Pangkor Island I got food poisoning from durian ice cream.

icecream

hospital

No durian for the next two-thirds of my life.

I then became the designated bee swatter at every subsequent durian party.

makan

My reintroduction to durian happened 3 years ago at someone’s durian party.

 

It didn’t taste bad. The texture was like… if ice cream grew on trees… it tasted sweet, and I kind of liked it a little bit.offer

 

eatlah

lick

 

What do you guys know about durian? Share your thoughts in the comments! Check out a recent painting that I made of durian on my facebook page!

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Drawing from Life Stories: Ronnie

Penang is full of colonial buildings and ever since the UNESCO World Heritage Site listing, boutique establishments have been popping up like mushrooms after the rain.

heritage_house

 

I’ve been going around the old Georgetown area to draw buildings since high school, you know, before it was cool. *hipster moment*then

Actually, it was pretty cool already, but after the listing things went into overdrive and everyone started doing it.

now

One of the first buildings I ever drew was St George’s Church in Farquhar Street mainly because parking was convenient, and there was always shade. Shade is very important especially in this corner of the world.

I went there to paint on Sundays. Obviously since it was a church, there was Sunday service.

I met a little boy named Ronnie who was about 9. He was a curious kid, and would drop by and watch me after church.ronnie

He has a younger sister and brother who tag along wherever he goes.

I learned that he lived with his grandparents in the kopitiam (Chinese style coffee shop for you non-South East Asian folks) across the church. I don’t really know much else about him, but he seemed like a good kid with very heavy responsibilities for his age.

Ronnie was very well behaved. He looked after his younger siblings and dressed them in awesome clothes.

drawing

Ronnie is probably in high school by now. I hope he and his siblings are doing well.

highschool

RONNIE. YOU GO RONNIE.

If you like this you should check me out on the book face. I mean facebook.

The Great Room Cleanup

The other day I had this strange philosophical moment. I had a thought, a cluttered room is a cluttered mind. Haha, I don’t know why all of a sudden this came to my head,  not sure if distracted… or genuinely want to clear out the space, but regardless, I decided to do a major cleanup of my cave.

While I was cleaning my place, I stumbled across a bunch of random things that were quite delightful. I’ve done the bathroom and kitchen, and have progressed to the bedroom… part 1. So far I have found:

  1.  Random piece of hot pressed watercolour paper.
  2.  1 Free cookie coupon from Cookies by George
  3.  Hand sanitizer.

TREASURE HUNNTTTT.

I also came across some old sketchbooks from last year when I was really into buildings and stuff, (I drew a bunch of buildings in the inner Georgetown heritage sites and made friends with cats) and also some drawings I made while I was on vacation in Bali, Indonesia.

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Tanah Lot! It’s a really pretty place. People flock here to be a tourist, watch the sun rise/set. You know, standard tourist things.

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Some lady on Jimbaran Beach, also in Bali.

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Me… drawing limau kasturi and some flowers. I do not recall where the plants came from. Tropical plants right? They just sprout up all over the place.

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A block of pre-war houses on Armenian Street, Penang. It was over here that I made friends with a calico cat.

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Cheah Kongsi inner courtyard. I sat here to hide from the sun… Penang humidity levels are pretty intense.

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Nagore Shrine. I really enjoyed drawing this one. I got to drink ginger milk tea.

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The view of some houses from St George’s Church, also Penang.

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Some ah pek having his lunch in a coffee shop.

After I stopped working, I also did some paintings of a coffee shop on Stewart Lane as well as the infamous Lorong Selamat Char Koay Teow auntie.

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Stewart Lane! I think the pigeons are the best part of the painting.

I sold this painting at Tesoro. *v* THANK YOU PERSON WHO BOUGHT THIS. Even though I didn’t really get any money out of it , but at least I was able to sell for a good price. All proceeds were donated to our Grad Show fund!

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Lorong Selamat!

For those who are new to the Penang street food scene, Char Koay Teow is a kind of fried flat rice noodle dish which is really popular here, Lorong Selamat (literally means… Selamat Lane) is where of the most famous CKT stalls are. The old lady who makes this is quite notorious for… her temper, she has gotten onto Internet flame wars before, lol. but dayuuummm she makes a fine CKT. *v*

I also got chased out of her shop because there were customers from Singapore coming over and I was “taking up space” by sitting there and drawing her. Even though I bought her crazy expensive char koay teow every time I visited.

That’s it for now! I might find more gems as I continue on my room cleaning adventures.