Sunday, January 20, 2008


"Which one do you prefer?
Japanese banana or Malaysian banana?"
My friend in Malaysia,
who once asked me this question
But I still prefer Malaysian banana very much. How about you?
For all my time in Japan, I have yet to come across fruits like papaya, rambutan, langsat, mata kucing in the supermarkets. To them, these kind of fruits are considered imported fruits as the climate here is unsuitable for growing these kinds of crops. That is why sometimes, I crave for these fruits, besides the normal ones like nasi lemak and roti canai. I might have gone back during the last winter break, but it wasn't the season where all those fruits I mentioned above were at their peak. Nevertheless, I didn't purposely go through the hassels of looking for these fruits, knowing the fact that the effort made would most probably come to nothing.
I guess my grandma must have known about how hard it is for me to get these kind of local fruits in Japan, that when I went to her house one day, she took out a big plastic bag containing yellow hairy rambutans. That very moment, I felt my visit to her place was worthy as I got something to eat, besides going to see her.
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That is the scientific name for rambutan. You've learned a new word today.
I can almost assure you that you will NEVER find rambutans in Japan. Even if you get to find it, they will be sold at a incredibly expensive price, just like how much durians and mangosteens cost here. A durian in Japan could fetch up as much as RM100; but still there are people who are ready to fork out such amount just for the sake of a durian. I saw that when I was in a Thai restaurant in Tokyo not very long ago, when a group of Thai ordered three durians to go with their meals. Talking about fruitsick, it can make people go for the unthinkable.
Anyway, I was out for some shopping yesterday and I got myself some fruits. I normally will only get myself some bananas but this time, I tried something different. I got a pack of strawberries but it wasn't as sweet as I would have like it to be. Strawberry Law states that the size of the strawberry is proportional to its sweetness. I guess I have forgotten about that law when I was picking my strawberries that time. Anyway, it was not that bad - mostly taste okay, just some of them have a sourly sweet taste.
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I never expect that strawberries will have such kind of scientific name.
Winter is often associated with mikan. Mikan is a seedless and easy-peeling citrus mutant of Chinese origin and it is known as unshu mikan in Japan. I decided to give it a try because I have not get to try it at all so far, excluding the ones I get sometimes from the canteen.
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Perhaps a Frenchmen with the name Marc gave mikan such name.
The only difference I notice between the normal Mandarin oranges we normally have during Chinese New Year is that the mikan here are more flat. Talking about Chinese New Year, it will be the first time that I am not really looking forward to it. I will tell the reason behind it when it gets nearer soon. By one thing for sure is that this time, I will only be getting to have mikans alone the most, without any ang pau from anyone.
I know it is near impossible for this to happen, but if my sensei reads this, he might decide to give me an ang pau this year afterall.
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This picture doesn't really suggest how flat the mikan is.
Even an ang pau containing 10 yen would really make my day. Yoroshiku ne ^.-


Anonymous said...

msian banana too soft.. and the last time i ate.. no taste..

jap banana imported from phillipines.. here got banana trees also..but then hor... sekkaku minorou to shitara, fuyu ga kuru...

calvin said...

@ kok hong:
i think that's because you ate those over-ripe bananas that are only suitable for making cekodok.

your place got banana trees? i have never seen one in japan so far. anyway, when the winter is here, you can have them as banana flavoured ice cream wert =P

zhenhui said...

not bad ah calbi...

blog about long straight bananas and round,round hairy rambutan in the same post...
i must say...VVVEEERRRYYY intriguing...

maybe u have something to say???

maybe u want US to do the thinking....

maybe.... :)


cl3m` said...


malaysia has more variety in bananas, got hard,got soft, got long,sweet,yellow,white,etc...

japanese imported bananas are usually hard because they're imported!

i vote malaysia

calvin said...

@ zhen hui:
yes, you are right. i really have something to say, which is:

i miss you very much, as my ex-classmate, ex-roommate and most importantly, as my ex-boyfriend =D

calvin said...

@ cl3m:
japanese bananas are usually hard because they are sold at high price =P

my vote remains with malaysian banana. we have more varieties of bananas, just like you mentioned =)

Anonymous said...

msia banana boleh buat pisang goreng yang sedap! which i missed the taste so much!!
by the way..i dont think japanese like rambutan..they like to judge thing by its look..
rambutan is not like those season fruits, with bright color and looked tasty..
it is hairy!!

calvin said...

@ ns29:
are you implying that a japanese guy/girl which has a look worse than a frog will never find his/her life partner forever, since you mentioned that they like to judge something by its look?

Anonymous said...

i red the strawberry only :P

calvin said...

@ mackerel tabby:
you mean you like the red strawberry only, or you are suggesting something else?