Man Papaya

“As large as papaya, as small as keranji,
Break a branch and the fruit falls down
A face so lovely with manners so ugly
Is like rain falling murky and brown”
Growing papaya, or betik, from seed is easy enough – sow them on loose soil straight from the fruit and they’ll come up without trouble. The tough part is figuring out if your tree is a boy or a girl…

Ambil galah jolok keranji

Pulasan grows at branch’s end Harvest keranji with a wooden rod O Man! Do not seek to be praised. Know that all praise is only for¬†God. Ambil galah jolok keranji Buah pulasan di hujung dahan Manusia janganlah suka dipuji Segala puji kepunyaan Tuhan   As durian season peters out, a couple of marginal fruits make […]

Buah Macang Buah Kuini

Buah macang buah kuini, Masak sebiji dalam daun; Mengapa begini hatiku ini, Habis bulan berganti tahun. A pair of fruits, Machang and Kwini Each one ripening¬†wrapped in a leaf Oh why does this poor heart of mine feel like this? Each month of passing has turned into years Sarawak is blessed with an abundance of […]

Dabai, the Sarawak Olive

Olives are a food I miss from back home. In Detroit, you can get a dozen different kinds of imported olives from the Lebanese grocery stores. My favorite are the dehydrated Turkish olives that you reconstitute by soaking in olive oil, lemon juice and crushed garlic. Mmmm. But I’m not complaining! Sarawak has its own […]

G(r)owing Bananas

I couldn’t wait for the rock wall and grading project to be done to start planting up the yard. I decided to grow some bananas along the jungle edge. Six months later, I’ve already harvested my first banana crop, and I’ve got banana trees towering 15 feet tall, swaying in the breeze. The varieties of […]

Strange Fruit pt. 8: Rambutan

It is fruit season now, which means all my discretionary income is vanishing at the roadside market. There are plenty of local fruits available year round – pineapples, papayas, bananas – but the best fruits are highly seasonal, available only for two months or so at the beginning and middle of the year. One of […]

Strange Fruit pt. 7: Manggis

Manggis, Garcinia mangosteena, is a lovely fruit. It has a thick purple rind with pure white fruit and bright yellow sap. Manggis is in season at the same time as Durian. It is apparently known as mangosteen in English, but this English speaker had never heard the word till I arrived here, so I just […]