My new camera arrived in the mail yesterday, and I didn’t wait even 24 hours before I was smearing my sticky durian fingers all over the dials at the Jawi Durian Fest. For the next 20 days, this is the best place to get Black Thorn durian. You can slobber over the durians we ate while I slobber over my new 25 mm mirrorless lens. Check this place out:
The Jawi Durian “Festival”
I wouldn’t really call this a festival. Nobody’s giving presentations or inciting a crowd. There are no booths of hippies pedaling their homemade crafts and rock crystals. The Jawi Festival is strangely bereft of microphones and loudspeakers and out of place dance music.
The Jawi Pesta Durian is more of a durian food court. All you can do there is eat durian. (btw, “Pesta” is Malaysian for “Festival,” nothing to do with Italian food)
So much light! Look at those colors!
I’ve been using the Olympus mirrorless cameras for the entire lifespan of this blog. I still remember the joy of the day I bought my EPL-1 at Low Yat Plaza, the electronics mall in KL, even after I realized the latest model was actually the EPL-5, AND even after I realized I’d paid the same price for my new old-model camera as for the latest one.
Ripped off? No way. Even now though it’s days are over, I will cherish the EPL-1 in my heart forever. Much like this Black Thorn.
Black Thorn at the Jawi Pesta Durian
One of the great things about the Jawi Pesta Durian is that you have two great Black Thorn growers dealing durian side by side.
This is Mr. Peter Lai, owner of 668 Durian Stall that Sasha and I visited a couple weeks ago.
Peter Lai is the largest durian distributor of durians in the state of Penang. He oversees around 130 acres of durian, including around 200 Black Thorn trees.
We ordered three or four Black Thorn from him, but with Mr. Leow so close by, I couldn’t resist also purchasing Black Thorn from him too.
Our table was Black Thorn heaven.
And I was in amateur photographer heaven, enraptured by both the Black Thorn and the bokeh.
Mr. Leow is actually the person who introduced Black Thorn durian to the commercial market. He has the oldest Black Thorn durian trees in Malaysia. I’ve written about him in my longer explanation of Black Thorn durian.
With a head start like that, he’s also grown the most Black Thorn durian trees in all of Malaysia, with over 600 trees.
Eating Mr. Lai’s and Mr. Leow’s durian side by side, I could taste a subtle difference. It was hard to put my finger on just what it was.
Maybe because my fingers were too busy playing with the new buttons on my new Olympus OMD- EM-5 Mark ii (yes, this is an affiliate link).
Maybe 5 years of durian fumes had finally etched it’s way into my old camera’s sensor, but my old EPL-1 was fed up. Its screen blinked a tired red warning light, letting me know it was time to learn something new.
I can tell that my new camera is going to be a steep learning curve.
For example, not all of my pictures came out great.
I was disappointed with how Mr. Lai’s pretty life-changing D101 came out.
You really can’t tell how amazing this D101 is. I thought I didn’t even like D101 until we visited 668 Durian Stall. I’d written the entire variety off.
If you go to the Jawi Durian Festival, do yourself a favor and get at least one of these.
Another shot of them came out kind of washed out.
These are Durio graveolens, another species of durian. Mr. Lai has just one tree, and he gave us a few for me to take pictures of and for my friends to eat.
One thing I love about the orange D. graveolens is the color contrast between the green shell and the orange flesh.
I took several renditions, but I still feel like this shot could be crisper.
Not that ISO settings and shutter speed affect flavor, but there’s something really satisfying about perfectly preserving a moment.
When we can only see the world through our own two peepers, it’s nice to think I can share a little snapshot of my point of view with a carefully framed picture. I can show you not just where I was, but what I find beautiful.
Like this teeniest of mangosteen, peeled to resemble a white-petaled flower, that Mr. Lai brought us after we’d finished durian feasting.
I’m on a private tour with these two hungry durian lovers for the next 5 days, and I hope the durian farms we visit will be ready. We demolished 24kg of durian in one session at the Jawi Durian Fest, and if you go there, you can too.
So all of ya’ll complaining that Black Thorn is hard to find, just go here.
Where is the Jawi Pesta Durian?
The Jawi Durian Festival really easy to get to. It’s just off the E1 Highway, the main north-south thoroughfare, and only a 40 minute drive from Georgetown, Penang.
It’s open from 10:00AM to 7:00PM. If you want to stay all day, I’m sure Mr. Lai and Mr. Leow wouldn’t mind.
Give Mr. Lai a call to reserve your durios: 012-466-6698