By Thai Newsroom Reporters
NO LESS THAN A TONNE of fresh durian put on a roadside vending stall in a downtown area of Nonthaburi has always been sold out over a weekend. It is not the taste, smell or price of the durian which may have attracted many customers to Ritthirong Meesee’s vending stall. It is merely the misspelled name of the fruit’s genus that counts.
The durian vendor said he had misspelled the fruit’s genus name on banners near his vending stall as ”Moy Thong” which literally translates as ”golden pubic hair” instead of the otherwise correctly spelled ”Mon Thong”, which translates as a golden pillow.
Most Thais prefer the ”Mon Thong” genus to all other genuses but the ”Moy Thong” genus came out of nowhere and became a money-making magnet overnight in favour of the fruit vendor who has virtually turned from rags to riches with it.
Ritthirong, also known as Dong Lablae, a native of Uttaradit where his durian has been grown, admitted to have misspelled the name with intent, albeit tacky and dirty, to draw the attention of passers-by and it panned out with hectic sales like hot cakes.
Beginning with a single roadside banner on which the misspelled name of the durian genus was starkly evident, Ritthirong saw hundreds of curious-looking, giggling passers-by approaching on a daily basis. Now several other roadside signs with such intentionally misspelled name have followed suit including the one right beneath his vending stall.
Though such shenanigan might sound quite uncomfortable and rude to some people, the streetsmart vendor did not seem to care much as long as it has drawn others to his durian day in and day out.
An average of 300 kilogrammes of his durian would sell on a weekday and more than 500 kilogrammes on Saturday and Sunday each.
Nonetheless, he reluctantly contended that his fruit would almost certainly sell easily and quantitatively because of its good reputation for being grown in Lablae district of Uttaradit, its good taste and inexpensive price rather than its misspelled name.
Top: Delicious Thai durian. Photo: Sanook.com
Home Page: Mon thong durian hanging from a tree. Photo: Siam Rath