A Very Thorny Affair Indeed!

Posted by M ws On Thursday, June 21, 2012 2 comments
In 1983, I worked as a writer with an organization and had the time of my life reading and writing at the office. Life could not be better for we were allowed to wear jeans to work and walked around barefooted. I did not have to spend on clothes or shoes :-). 

Of the eleven employees there, nine (including yours truly) were avid stamp collectors. Every morning, those who heard the postman's bicycle bell would run out of the office to grab the mail. With a glint in his eyes, the postman would pass the bundle to the lucky one, knowing full well the furore that would ensue.

Karen, the one and only non-stamp enthusiast who was also the Manager, was quite tired of the bickering, drama and protests that erupted twice a day. She decreed that each would be entitled to the 'harvest' for one session except for Fridays which would be an open session whereby we could exchange for what was the 'loot' for the day. The policy worked like a charm and everyone was happy.

Although the pay was very low, I was happiest there despite the fact that I had to read tons of books and was expected to churn out volumes of writings including press releases, features and books I had to write daily. However, in life, not everyone can agree to an amicable agreement - not when greed and selfishness rear their ugly heads. Read the following article on a durian tree saga and you can see what I mean. Do leave a comment to share your thoughts and responses. Thanks! Wishing you a great day!


SINGAPORE: A durian tree in Moulmein Road, Singapore, became a thorn in relations among residents of a HDB block of flats nearby when fights ensued over who could claim the fruits.

The Straits Times reported that the dispute began three years ago when a resident, known only as Chua, said he was just looking at the tree when another resident, R. Lim, shouted at him to stay away from “his tree”.

He claimed his father planted the tree 20 years ago.

Last week, resident Lily Wee called police after Lim, a businessman in his 50s, shouted expletives at her when she wanted to take a durian.

“There are three kinds of people in this world – the good, the bad and the ugly. He belongs to the last group,” said Wee, calling Lim a “durian bully”.

Residents would wait under the tree each fruiting season, sometimes for hours, to take the ripened fruits.

“We can always get fruit from Geylang, but we choose to wait here to kio liu lian,” said a resident known as Patrick, referring to a Hokkien phrase expressing the thrill of getting free durians.

About 100 durians could be harvested each year from the single tree, which first bore fruit seven years ago.

Frustrated over the fiasco, some residents had asked for the tree to be chopped down, but the Moulmein-Kallang municipal council had let the tree be.

It will, however, put up two notices stating that the neighbourhood trees belong to the Housing Board and are maintained by the town council.

Resident Peter Yang approved of not chopping the tree, and said neighbours had begun to bond as they queued and chatted while waiting for the fruits to fall.

“Despite a little bit of nonsense, you still get some good out of it,” he said.

Can anyone suggest any alternative solutions? Please leave a comment to share your views. Thanks!

2 comments to A Very Thorny Affair Indeed!

  1. says:

    CLY The back lane behind my house is gated, at both end of 2 rows of terrace houses. As such the City Hall workers could not come in to clear the weeds and rubbish. I would clear the weeds and scoop the dirt and place them into a pile, for composting. Sometimes when the weed get too much, I burn them after they are dried. My dog and other dogs would used it to deposit their poo. As such, the compost is very fertile, with plenty of worms.
    As such, neighbours that would not lay a finger to clear the weeds and dirt would come in collect the compost for their plants. Well neighbours will just want a share of what benefit them, not what will burden them.
    Since the durian tree belongs to the municipal, they could sell the fruits to a durian seller and the residents can then buy from him/her. The money can be used to enhance the neighborhood.
    But the moral of the story is why did they plant only one durian tree? They could have planted the whole island with durian trees and rename it Durianpour short for durian pouring.;)

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Thank you, CLY, for such a wonderful response to this post.

    What you have shared has certainly added more value to the lessons we can learn from the thorny affair.

    God bless you for being gracious to share with your neighbours. That is indeed a wonderful example of how love covers all sins!

    Thank you also for your suggestion and a superb finishing observation. You really write very well! Please feel free to send any of your writings to me. You can leave it in the comment box (and add your email if you wish and be assured I will not publish your contact details.) However, I will post your writings as a stand-alone post.

    Thanks again for blessing us with your sharing.Take care and have a wonderful day!

    God bless you.

    Best wishes

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