Monday, December 15, 2008

Papaya, paw paw

Here is Edmund with a papaya tree.

My Dad used to grow lots of papaya trees because they grow fast, and the fruits are good for you, and you can easily propagate them from the seeds. Papayas are bigger versions of the paws paws we have in New Zealand and Australia. In Taiwan, they have small ones and they think it is better than the big South East Asian ones.

I used to grow them on the patch of land just below my flat. To my displeasure or anger,  when the big fruits are about to ripen, they get stolen. The Malay cleaners who clean the stairways tell me this story.

"A papaya tree is considered public property unless the grower marks it with some special identity like dressing one papaya with a sarong. So I "saronged" just one papaya, and since then, no body stole my papaya.

I remembered Mother tell me that with the Ibans aka Sea Dayaks, they hang little bottles of supposedly charm among their plants. Whether there was any charm or no, no body dared to steal the crops.

When I saw a Filipino friend hanging up a little bottle in her papaya tree, she told me the same story. Before doing this, her papayas were stolen. Now with the bottle, she could rest assured that the fruits ripen on the tree and she could have it for breaksfast.

This story is so convincing that my English friend A.W. did it to her tree even though she did not believe in it. My friend from China also did it. She was fed up of her papayas being stolen. When the bottle get up, the papayas never went walking again.

Just in case you think we are old fashioned people, we lived in the campus of NTU in Singapore, we are professors wives.

In another post, I will write about papaya salad recipes.

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