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In Thailand, durian is banned in most public areas, including shopping malls, most hotels, all forms of public transportation, and weirdly, public restrooms.
Yet somehow Rob and I managed to forget durian’s banned status on our way to the train station. We happened to pass the Warorot market – a sprawling outdoor market east of the old city. And there it was – the city’s hidden cache!
Not for a bad price either. Apparently we were seriously ripped off on our previous durian snack. On average, medium sized durian costs 70 baht (compare that to our 120 baht two pieces!). So of course we bought one.
We were in a hurry to get to the train station, so we brought the lovely little durian along, thinking we could eat it while we waited for our overnight train to Bangkok. How could we forget? No durians in the train station in Thailand!
The station was farther away then we realized, so by the time we arrived we had only a few minutes until our train was going to leave. What followed was some serious durian scarfing! Of course this is nothing compared to Singaporean Aundrey Francis‘s record of 16 durian pods in under 1 minute. I normally like to eat durian very slowly, so scarfing it felt like a bit of a waste – but not as big of a waste as simply abandoning it!
As we picked up our bags to head into the train station, an old homeless man on crutches with only one eye approached us. He picked a nearly empty water bottle out of a nearby trash can, and tilted it up to let the few morsels of water dribble into his mouth. He looked so thirsty. I’ve seen a lot of mutilated and heart-wrenching beggars now, but this was probably one of the saddest things I’ve ever witnessed. Thailand’s tap water isn’t potable, and there aren’t any drinking fountains. I realized that not only was this guy dependent on handouts for his food, but also for water. We gave him one of our water bottles, and I found myself wishing we had given him the durian as well.