By Thai Newsroom Reporters
A YOUNG COUPLE wished to make quick cash and opted for the roadside trading of fresh durian after they had been tormentingly jobless for nearly a year. Their hand-to-mouth struggling had panned out until recently.
The 23-year-old Toi and his girlfriend had virtually turned from rags to riches out of the blue, putting their durian on sale on one side of a road leading to downtown Chanthaburi.
Toi’s Mon Thong (Golden Pillow) durian sold for an average of 60 baht a kilogramme, compared to roughly twice as much for those available at fruit stalls elsewhere throughout the country’s largest durian-growing province.
Customers swarmed around Toi’s roadside stall from mid-morning until late afternoon, eagerly looking to pick the most beautiful King of the Fruits.
Toi admitted he needed some hard cash to pay for rent of his pickup truck, his condo unit and cover other daily and monthly expenses and needed it so fast he was prompted to sell his durian at such incredibly low prices.
But the young durian vendor and his girlfriend had moved from one road near downtown area to another in the adjacent Tha Mai district, saying urban municipality officials had unkindly denied them the unpaid use of the roadside space for their fruit stall.
Not until recently had the young couple been seriously bothered by the authorities who showed up and arrested them at the scene in the presence of some startled customers.
Toi was arrested on charge of selling unripe durian, which was allegedly against the law in relation to the GMP (good manufacturing practice) standards for all agricultural merchandise dealers, according to Chanthaburi provincial governor Suthee Thongyaem.
He desperately told the authorities he had merely bought durian from a fellow vendor without knowing the fruits were unripe and inedible at the moment.
The provincial governor said several durian dealers and farmers in Tha Mai district, Na Yai Am district, the capital district and elsewhere had been brought to justice for similar misconduct charges.
In case of the swindling farmers, their GAP (good agricultural practice) certificate and in case of the crooked dealers, their GMP are all to be revoked by law.
The provincial governor said the authorities consider such wrongdoings as a serious breach to the code of ethics in business which all involved in durian trading would be otherwise obliged to follow.
It normally takes an average of four to five months for farmers to reap their Golden Pillow durian. Kradum (Button) durian and Chanee (Gibbon) durian take a slightly shorter period to get harvestable.
Unripe durian tastes terrible and even though the fruit might be left for weeks to ripen on their own, it will remain tasteless all the same, Suthee commented.
Top: Thai Mon Thong (Golden Pillow) durian for sale at a local market. Photo: Kent Wang (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Home Page: Ah, durian- love it or hate it, it’s inseparable from Southeast Asia! Photo: Shankar S.(CC BY 2.0)