These first few days have been occupied by attempts to completely upend our sleeping schedule, become accustomed to sweating constantly, and of course, finding a nest to call our own.

There have been some good food adventures, trying laksa on day one, and then coming home to the tried-and-true chicken rice that night:Then going to dinner Friday night with my new boss, his wife, and another couple from my new group, to a nice Indian restaurant called Anjappar in little India. The chicken 65 is die-die must try. Apparently the chicken is killed on the 65th day, beyond this I can tell you nothing of how it was cooked, but it was little spicy yummy tender nuggets.

I've also had chicken mee that was excellent (thin rice noodles, chicken is flavored, again, I don't really know how, but with excellent spice and herbs. My mouth burned a solid 20 minutes after):
Cooling was attempted with a mango ice cream sandwich. These are often served on regular sandwich bread, just a thick slice of very cold ice cream-- but this time it was on thin wafers, which work very nicely:
Then tonight I decided to take the full-on head-first dive into southeast Asian food. The feared durian. A fruit like no other. Most of what I hear about this fruit does not make you want to try it. It is described as pungent, tasting of onions, or even including adjectives such as 'gym-sock'. The guys on the bizarre foods shows sometimes smile and chew on their pig organs, joints, rodents, offal, etc. and then are shown in the next scene unable to stomach the durian. Because of just its odor, it is not allowed on public transportation or many housing areas. But for others, it is the pinnacle of fruit, the most complex of flavors, a real delicacy.

I'd been wanting to try this stuff ever since I heard of it, but I wanted to be sure I got a good one. After all, when you try durian for the first time, considering what you are told it may taste like, how will you know if it is rotten? Today I ventured to the Geylang area with this one goal in mind, finding my first durian. I was advised that the D24 variety was quite good (apparently there are like 300 cultivars, each with distinct taste, etc.), so I found a location from some googling that was recommended-- Wonderful Fruit Enterprise at 147 Sims Avenue. I then opted for a D24 from this wall of durian. As you can see, this fruit has clearly come to us from another planet.

They choose a fruit for you, cut it open, and seat you at a table to eat it there:

The white part is just husk and is inedible. The yellow part is the meat, which is subdivided further into sections that each contain a seed. The meat encapsulates the seed, and is best described as a custard that you just kind of suck off (toss the seed). It was pleasantly sweet, not overwhelmingly stinky in the least, and definitely a mouth full of complex flavor. I'm not sure where to start and probably should have taken tasting notes. Onion is definitely a flavor that comes through, but I did not think it was overwhelming at all, and onion is, after all, a nice flavor, just not one most are accustomed to in their fruit. There's definite nuttiness, and then something else that I'm not sure is like anything I've ever had. I'm sure I was helped tremendously by building myself up for this, knowing pretty well what to expect, and wanting to give it a fair shake-- but I kind of loved it.

I believe the greatest disservice to this food is its belonging to the kingdom of plants and being a fruit. If this were some variety of cheese, a pate, a caviar, or something else that was served by the hoity-toity at fancy dinner parties, I imagine it would be received much better.

Of course, this was just one durian. I wonder if part of the problem is that not all durians are created equal. Some others may be much smellier and much more onion/gym-sock/dead animal. Further research will be conducted. It is worth pointing out that a local joined me at my table. He had purchased the cheap durian, a quarter of the price of mine. He agreed I had gotten the best kind. As I neared the end, I offered a section to him, figuring he'd really appreciate it, and tried his last section in exchange. Surprise to us both, they were very very similar. So it does not seem to be the case that the only reason mine was bearable was because it was the best variety.

In other news, no nest has been located as yet. Apartments apparently are released in batches, almost entirely on Saturdays, so mid-week is a dead zone, and we hope that Saturday will bring us the right place.