Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday 3 December 2006

A 'stinker' of a storm hits the Philippines

About 1,000 are feared to have died as a result of mudslides triggered by Typhoon Durian in the Philippines archipelago. Sounds horrible and it seems that Vietnam is at risk, too, so it's perhaps not over yet.

The title of this post relates to the name chosen for this typhoon; the Durian is described in the linked article merely as being "named after a spiky Asian fruit", but that is a very bland way of putting it, a bit like saying that Hitler was Chancellor of Germany between 1933 and 1945 without mentioning anything else about him! If you have ever smelled Durian (I have never eaten it) then it is not something you forget easily. On the other hand it is regarded as an addictive delicacy by certain people, even if many hotels and public transportation in the Far East ban it from their premises. I did voluntary work for a couple of years in Hong Kong and one of the others who I sometimes did evening duty rotas with was a Singaporean Catholic nun who used to suck boiled sweeties flavoured with Durian as this was the only way she could get her 'fix' and not be shunned by polite society. Read more about this delightful fruit here.

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