Happy New Year!
I can’t believe that we are closing our third year Year of Durians. Strangely, as I write these words I am sitting in the exact same room of the same hotel that Rob and I stayed in our first night in Malaysia, before this blog was born or we’d eaten our first Malaysian durian. It feels like a good sign.
In 2014, we posted 50 times from 6 different countries. Here’s a list of the most popular posts of the year.
Australia Seeking stability was a theme for us in 2014. We’ve been traveling since 2010 and in late The Durian Tourist’s Guide to Thailand while we explored the durian farms and jungle areas of this tropical corner of Oz.
2013 plunked ourselves down in Cairns, Australia for a six month stint. Rob worked at a lumber mill and I wrote the majority of the
Thailand In April we moved to Bangkok to gear up for the coming durian season and I finished The Durian Tourist’s Guide to Thailand. Between final book edits I ran in Lumphini Park, which had been more or less turned into a huge tent city. The protesters were very friendly and after a few days started giving me a small bottle of water every morning. I was a little sad when the police cleared out the park a few days before the military coup.
Myanmar My good friend Jess is a teacher in Myanmar, so during one of her breaks Rob and I took the opportunity to explore a new country and durian. We loved it, and look forward to going back when we have more time (and let’s face it, more money. Myanmar is relatively expensive).
Malaysia This year I spent about two months in Penang, learning about durian from Mr. Chang and exploring other interesting farms for a new guidebook, The Durian Tourist’s Guide to Penang (expected release in April). We also spent some time learning about other wild fruits and even found a new species, D. pinangianus.
Borneo With Rob happily settled in our rented house in Thailand, I went on a girls-only durian reconnaissance trip to Sabah and Brunei, where I gave a presentation on durians.
United States Rob and I both ended up in the US this year, although at different times. Rob went back in July for his sister’s wedding, and I unexpectedly went back for the month of November when my grandpa was put on hospice. He passed away Christmas Eve.
Compared to previous years, we slowed down and spent more time in each place, becoming more intimate with the culture and the durians. We watched 2015 roll in from our porch in Koh Phangan, Thailand, and seven hours later I flew to Kuala Lumpur for a visa run. Life is never boring.
In this post I let out my vegan crazy to talk about how fruit farming harms animals, how it could be stopped, and most importantly, why we vegans shouldn’t get too annoyingly smug about our cruelty-free lifestyles.
Let’s face it: eating gobs of durian can get expensive. After receiving a bunch of emails from readers asking for tips, I decided to write a post on how we cut corners to have more money available to buy durian. Statistics indicate it was a good post.
This post is pure durian porn. I think that’s why it was so popular.
So many new friends came to my party that we completely booked out the accommodations. We tore through at least 100 durians over a weekend, and I got some nice shots. It was good times and good durian all around.
In 2015 even more people are coming to my birthday. Rob and I would love to see you there, so mark your calendar for June 21st in Penang, Malaysia!