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Friday, August 26, 2005

Sharing and keeping durians

Some time back, I bought a basket of durians from a reputable stall. When I got home, I cracked the first one open and tasted the fleshy pulp. It was delicious! I finished the first durian quickly and opened the second enthusiastically. Delicious! Absolutely heavenly!

The durians were too good to be kept to myself, so I called all of my friends and family and told them about my batch of delectable durians. When they came to sample them, I offered the mushy fruits happily. All of them agreed -- these were the best durians they had ever tasted! And then they ate some more.

Somehow, the owner of the stall that I had bought the durians from found out that I was sharing my durians with friends and family. He immediately told me to stop doing so. I asked him why. He said that if everyone ate from my batch of durians, then fewer people would buy durians from him. Then how was his business going to survive?

I thought about it and decided that he had a point. So with a tinge of sadness, I told my friends and family that I could no longer share my durians with them. My friends and family were disappointed, but I directed them to the stall so that they could buy their own durians. Now they too could share in my ecstasy of enjoying good durians.

Some time later, I thought that it would be a better idea to transfer the individual fruits from within their thorny shells to plastic boxes. I could then keep the boxes in the fridge so that they would last longer. Then I would be able to enjoy my durians as and when I wanted to.

So I started packing my durians and soon my fridge was filled with plastic boxes containing the yellow fruit. Somehow, the stall owner found out what I was doing and got angry at me. I was confused by his anger. I have been his loyal customer all of this time and though we did not know each other personally, I respected him and I think he respected me. So why was he angry at me?

He told me that the durians that he sold to me could only be eaten directly from their thorny husks. I was not allowed to repack the fruits into other containers. If I wanted durian in plastic boxes, I had to buy them from him. (When I asked him how much, he said I would pay less for his durian-in-plastic boxes than durian-in-thorny-husks.)

I thought that this did not make sense. I wasn't sharing my durians with anyone else. I was only keeping my durian in a different container for my own consumption, but the fruit was still the same. No, he said. I could not repack the fruit in any other container because that wasn't what he had sold me. If I used the fruit in something else, and then if I wanted to keep that something else in a plastic box, then I could do so. But I absolutely could not keep the fleshy fruit in any other container other than the husk from which it was taken from. Besides, it would be even easier for me to share my durian-in-plastic-boxes with friends and family. I told him over and over again that I would not do such a thing, but my cries of protests fell on deaf ears.

I went home, opened my fridge, and took a long look at my boxes and plastic boxes of durian fruit. What should I do?

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Technorati tags: durian, share, transfer, copyright, fair use

28 comments:

MQube said...

I like your durian analogies

Anonymous said...

dont do anything. he wont know.

Ed, Edd & Eddy !!! said...

Ya, good analogy. Is your fridge a cool white? Heheh.

The stall owners are a greedy bunch.

nemesis said...

yuhui: oh! can I try some of your durians next time? heh heh

eddy: oh! is there really an analogy? sorry lah, i am a little sotong. can't catch the analogy. then again, the fridge being a cool white somehow gives a hint. =)

Anonymous said...

hahahaha, makes a good analogy.

etvous

nemesis said...

hmm... a bit slow, but i finally got it :P

Anonymous said...

i say shoot the durian seller, feed his body to vultures and look for a new seller.

lost said...

think the first part of the story could do with some improvement... in the literal sense it doesn't make much sense. sharing durian doesn't really cut down the seller's profits mah. since you'd have to buy it more often.

i can't think of a good substitute which still makes the appropriate parallel though. too sleepy. maybe later.

Jasper Chen said...

OMG I am someone desperately slow and I can't believe I got it!

Great one!

Chin said...

Hi Yuhui,

Hope you wont get a barage of readers. I just posted this on my schools forum linking here. hee.

OMFG!! said...

the durian seller earn less will die meh??

Why do we buy some durian to share with all the bloggers here..

*wink* ^_<

crufty said...

>>sharing durian doesn't really cut down the seller's profits mah. since you'd have to buy it more often.<<

No... he can always resell the durians at a higher price, since the market does not have perfect knowledge i.e. the buyer doesn't know where he buys the durians from.

Beng said...

How did the stall owner manage to find out about so much of your personal activities?

bunzterz said...

fantastic analogy... too bad those stall owners have no brains, sacrifice the consumer's satisfaction for more profits...

Anonymous said...

Durain can only eat once, its still quite different lah. so your analogy for the first part is not very accurate

tscd said...

Consider this:

The durian farmer is looking after his crop - he spends hours tending to his trees, getting rid of parasites and then harvesting and selling his produce. He takes pride in the way his durians are processed and packaged, making sure his customers receive only the best quality produce.

Then, he finds that somebody is creeping into his orchard, denuding his trees of durians and then giving the durians away. Nobody patronises his durian stall anymore because they can get his produce for free elsewhere. Because different methods of processing are used, the quality of the durians do not meet the farmer's original standards - and yet they will be associated with his name.

Now, how unfair is that?

Indi said...

I have not been here that long but I need some enlightenment about the metaphor. Is it about CPF?

Yuhui said...

Indi: no, it's a story about durians.

Dennis said...

you dress your fridge up to look like the husk of a durian. then u can keep the flesh inside as long as u wan without violating CODE 56 of The Durian Act in the Durian Land Book of Law.

chrischoo said...

It's quite funny but durians can only be eaten once. It's not like you can put them in a basket and then pull out enough durians to feed 5,000 people. Heck, I cannot stand the smell of durians (or is it the durian seller...) but I like the story anyway :)

AG said...

excellent satire!!

shadow said...

Hilarious! :-)
Actually, if the durian seller was intent on providing the best durians for his customers, don't you think he'd have better things to do like sourcing for better and cheaper durians than to spend time and money peering into people's fridges to see if they put their durians in tuperwares?

bitchbert™ said...

Point is, you bought and paid for the fruit. Therefore it is yours and you are FREE to do with it as you please. This includes sharing and repacking. The stall owner has relinquished all rights to ownership when he sold you those specific fruit.

You tell the darn storekeeper to kiss your ass and you'll see him in civil court for private nuisance.

Okay okay....that's a little aggressive, but you get my point. Unless I'm missing something here.. like the story's a joke? If such a storekeeper existed..i'd choke to death on the air of his stupidity.

Ruth said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Ruth

http://fendisite.com

Ruth said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Ruth

http://fendisite.com

Yuhui said...

Hi Ruth, thanks for reading! And feel free to continue leaving comments!

Anonymous said...

I've been to Thailand and the "Tukang Durian" men are really quite like this. What is the analogy, anyway? What, file sharing, medicinal marijuana? I don't know what context is being assumed, so how can I get it?

Yuhui said...

Anonymous: sorry, can't tell. But you can be sure it's not about medicinal marijuana.

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