The Durian is a contentious fruit; loved by many whilst others are disgusted by its strong smell, and strange appearance. Jakarta, one of South-east Asia’s largest and least known Cities, is aptly nicknamed the “Big Durian.” Tales from the Big Durian, is a collection of true stories and experiences, that cross lines of “normality,” and takes readers in the surreal life of a mega-city torn between western modernization, and traditional beliefs.
The book starts with a short story about the differences in cultural beliefs, were locals prefer skin whitening creams to exposing themselves in the hot, tropical Indonesian sun. It leads onto a collection of bizarre, and funny tales were expatriates and locals mix, leading to a chaotic mix of misunderstandings, that end up as confusing as they first started.
As you travel through a growing ultra-modern City to the crumbling tenements, and shacks of the poor. Where a society lives on the edge of earthquakes, and floods, whilst millions of people somehow find a way to make a living.
Onto the streets of this teeming City, were luxurious Shopping Malls collide with street hawkers selling everything imaginable, and Porsches battle with the most dangerous buses in East Asia, for space on Jakarta’s gridlocked roads.
Stories are often “human” stories; the anonymous street food seller outside a western-style bar, or the residents of a crumbling apartment block, that has a reputation of being haunted. People who exist but often are the nameless characters that make the City of Jakarta, so interesting.
Each page Invites you to a very real World, you can experience first hand by flipping through an assortment of stories, which either confuse, bring joy or plain old disgust.
Welcome to the surreal, and yet very real World of the “Big Durian.”
“Tales from the Big Durian,” is available in eBook form, through Fultus Books..