although i like to eat durians, i am wary of durian sellers. many singaporeans lament that honest durian sellers are hard to find. many of these durian sellers are actually fly-by-night operators who will try to make as much money as they can during the durian season. they tend to be very pushy; you may intend to buy two fruits and then end up buying more than you have bargained for. some do not display the prices and charge you according to 'how you are dressed' or 'whether you live in the neighbourhood'. there are others who will short change you by lumping and dumping the unripe fruit or over-ripe fruit together with those you have picked.
so if you come to know a durian seller whom you can trust, you must make sure you do not lose his contact. get his mobile phone number. luckily, i found one two years ago and i would seek him out when the season came around. however, sometime in april this year, i saw another vendor occupying his place outside the 7-11 store at woodgrove. i was worried and prepared to forgo eating durian until i find another honest seller.
knowing that mr su, the honest durian seller, would only resume his durian business when the season was in full swing and when good durians were readily available, i waited until the beginning of july to call him on his mobile number. he told me his new location was not far from his former spot; he was now at block 326 woodlands street 32.
most of his durians come from the state of johor, from the districts of tangkap and kluang. when the supply from these areas dry up, he sometimes get durians from the state of pahang. the durian lorries will usually deliver the durians to his stall at around 2 or 3 p.m., that is when his make-shift stall opens. his durians are usually sold out before 7.00 p.m. he sells a range of durians, from 3 fruits for $10 to $11/kg for the more exquisite varieties like mao shan wang and kim hong. he also stock d13, d24, d101 and ang hae (hong xia).
like most durian sellers today, he will pry open the husks and pack the durian in a styrofoam box. for d13, d101 and ang hae, he sells them at $10 a box. the foam box is the squarish type. it is big enough to hold the fruit of two large durians. however, most times, i get the fruit from as many as three medium-sized durians.
mr su will volunteer to point out the distinguishing features of the different variety of durians that he sells. he will teach you how to identify the different species. he is also familiar with customers' preferences. according to him, most ladies prefer sweet to bitter durians. that is why d13 is very popular with his woman customers.
he hails from kluang in johor and during the off-season he works on his oil palm plantation in kluang. besides durians, the other fruits that he hawks include langsat, mangosteen and rambutan.