Forget the Footnotes

Back in London with turian

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I’m back in London again to teach a summer school course. I didn’t particularly want to do it, but I had promised to and I need the money. The students are always great and I’ll get into it. My wife and the kids are in Taiwan. Diane is putting on a brave face, engaging in a lot of retail therapy by the sound of it.


I brought a turian with me to London. Turian, or durian, is the only truly offensive fruit. Its smell is totally nauseating. It’s a sensual, underweary, odor mixed with something sweet and something dead. No surprise turian is banned in Singaporean hotels. People on the flight over all turned their heads as I checked in.

Actually I don’t even like turian, I don’t eat it, but I use it as a talisman. The smell is so unique, so Southeast Asian, and it cannot be mistaken for something English. The smell will remind me of my new life as I struggle through the three weeks of the summer school. The smell will protect me from Englishness, from LSE bosses and from other bad spirits. It seems to be working — in fact, everyone seems to stay away!

The only problem now is telling when the turian has gone bad. How long can I keep it in the refrigerator? How do you know that something so foulsmelling should be thrown out?


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