living in london pt5

12 May


A continueing joy in living in london is the apples. even supermarket apples are delicious, firm, crunchy, sweet, juicy. so much so that i can eat two apples on the trot one after the other, and i eat all of it, only the stalk left. they are that good. my favourite is gala apples.

but just now, i bought 8 for £1 in tesco , after my swim, and took a bite of one when i left the store and was surprised that it tasted awful. very friable, soft, tasteless. I was thinking to myself do i have to eat all of it? and dreading it. It was that bad.

then i remembered long ago when i was in malaysia, and bought some fruits from the night market from some local malay guys who have set up a stall there, and they were not sweet and i actually went back to the street market and returned them and got my money back. i regret doing it, because those were natural fruits, and if they are not as sweet as i expected it is only because it is nature. i was very young and foolish in those days.

so i thought if i can return the fruits to those guys who least deserve it, why am i not returning these fruits to tesco right now? i have only gone a few steps away from the store… its not like i have returned home and found out. so i turned tail at once and returned to the store and asked for the store manager.

I told him the fruits are too old and i want to return it. I was actually holding the half eaten apple, it was that bad. he asked if i want a replacement, but i did not trust the rest of the batch were any better so i said i will take a refund. and of course he gave me my £1 back without any fuss. so i have to qualify my praise of apples from supermarket that it is not always that nice. haha. Still, it is the first time i got a bad batch in all my years of buying apples in london. and it is still one of the best things to enjoy about london. haha.

Gala apples actually are not native to uk. most uk apples like braeburn, russet, bramleys, are quite sour. but i think some local farmers are growing gala apples in uk now. It’s possible the apples are not that nice because it is not apple season now. that season comes around autumn time. 

I wonder what are the seasonal fruits we can get to eat now . it is spring now. i cannot think there are any fruits ripening and  available now. after all, the flowering season have only just started. But i remember reading somewhere that apples can be stored throughout the winter and brought out to be sold in batches.  but if there are no fruits actually growing now, what fruits are we to eat? that is assuming  we want to eat only seasonal fruits?? Unlike in malaysia, or seasia, where pineapple , papaya, guava, lime, jackfruit, bananas, starfruit, grow all the year round, we here in the temperate zone have winter where nothing fruits. You can see why there are no pure vegetarians in the prehistoric peoples who live in temperate climates. haha. any who are foolish enough to want to just eat vegetation will die. in winter, people will have to hunt animals or rear them to survive.

I just have a thought. all those religions, buddism , hinduism, which advocate a vegetarian diet are started in the tropics… where it is possible to live on vegetation all year. so those religions are suited to the peoples who live there.

and desert religions like jewism islamism, christianity seem to be in place to regulate people’s use of scarce resources. how much easier it is to get obedience when you tell people God wants it rather than pass man made laws that people will flout.  and the idea of a single god is so no other gods will contradict each other. 

You can understand why those religions came about in those regions of the world, but why should people in the temperate zone take up these religions?  (one of desert areas, the other of tropical areas), and force it into a temperate zone or cold climate way of life? It does not make sense, does it? 

A religion that worships the sun and time people’s activities according to its progress in the heavens as the seasons change… that would be more useful as a religion to the people who live in northern climes. maybe that is what stonehenge and all the other stone circles allude to, and druids are the high priests of such a religion. but they were all swept away when the romans came to britain and introduced christianity. and impose a religion for the desert areas to a northern climate country and people. Ah well, just my thoughts about religion, and how it comes about. 

 Added. i googled it and found out that rhubarb is the only fruit in season around now. first of all, i never knew rhubarb is a fruit. i had always thought it to be a vegetable. anyway, I have never seen any supermarket with a glut of rhubarb to sell. they make very good rhubarb crumble that is the only use for it that i know of. 

11 Responses to “living in london pt5”

  1. pleisbilongtumi Wednesday May 14, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Nice post and I love it. I can’t imagine you nicely connect an apple to a refund, the vegetarian and religion then ended up with rhubarbs 🙂

  2. alifesgayventure Wednesday May 14, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    hi thanks for the comment, when i think of all the lovely fruits we can get in malaysia, and i imagine in indonesia too, i find i do get a bit nostalgic about it. when i was growing up in malaysia, we could just go out to the garden and pick a fruit. whereas here with the winter and seasons, fruits are not available all year round. but there are compensations to living in london. the chief of it is the easy availability of books… just this morning i borrowed a new book by donna leon. her latest, ‘by its cover’. she writes detective novels based in venice.

  3. brushes and papers Wednesday May 14, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    Hi, have you tried the Fuji apples? I bet u will like them more than gala.

    • alifesgayventure Wednesday May 14, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

      hi, thanks for reminding me of fuji apples. they are indeed the only apples i find that retain their crunch even when imported to malaysia from china. i think they are a hybrid cross with the chinese pears (my family call those pears by their chinese name ‘zalee’, i dont know if that is what singaporeans call them. but they are the best tasting pears in the world. fuji apples are like poor relations of those pears. i wonder if i am the only one who thinks that. what do u think?

  4. brushes and papers Wednesday May 14, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

    I know that Fuji apples are hybrid. But I didnt realize they were from two US apples developed by the Jap growers in 1930s. I remember the first time I was introduced and ate Fuji apples was in US. But the apples were green and small. Nevertheless they were the sweetest and crunchiest apples I ever tasted.

    Nowadays the apples we have are the Fuji from China. We do eat apples daily and always have Fuji apples. My family and I all agree that apples taste much better if they are crunchy. I also found out if u bought that not so sweet Fuji apples, dont throw it away. Let it stay for a week, they will turn sweet by that time.

    • alifesgayventure Thursday May 15, 2014 at 6:15 am #

      thanks for this. so fuji apples are not a cross with chinese pears. yet their texture is reminiscent of it. googling it, i found fuji apples cost about 80p each in uk. though i have never seen them in the supermarkets. at least in the ones i go to. haha.
      chinese pears are even rarer here. in fact even google could not find this variety being sold in uk.

      • brushes and papers Thursday May 15, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

        I was kinda skeptical when you mentioned Fuji apples were a cross with Chinese pears. However there are New Zealand growers who were successful in developed a cross between those two. 😃

        I have been thinking.. If I failed to be an artist, I would consider going back to Indonesia become a farmer. Haha..

      • alifesgayventure Thursday May 15, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

        hmm, more like u will use the proceeds from the art to buy a farm in indonesia and retire there. or maybe not? maybe better to buy in malaysia. a house with a fruit garden by the sea?

      • brushes and papers Thursday May 15, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

        Haha.. Oh..I have to be famous first then be able to buy that huge farm. Lol. This is getting hilarious. Well can dream once in while, right?

      • alifesgayventure Thursday May 15, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

        its lovely to have dreams…personally i think u should be famous for your art. you are that good at it. you should get an agent, or if u have an agent he/she should publicise it.
        land is cheaper in indonesia and malaysia.

      • brushes and papers Thursday May 15, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

        Thank you for your valuable advice sir. Will do that when the time is right. 😄

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