Yesterday, on my way back to the hills, I saw rows of stalls selling rambutan. Sometimes, or maybe most of the time, I forget that I am living in Indonesia. There are just so many similarities from landscape to food to people that I feel like I never left home. But of course I have to admit that stark dissimilarities are also very obvious.
So I told the driver to stop by one of the stalls. The experience of buying fruits on the wayside is very familiar to me. We do that all the time in the Philippines. The stack of fruits, the make of the display cabinet, even the seller looks very Filipino except of course the language that I used.
“Harga berapa ibu?”, I asked.
“15,000 satu ikat.”, she said.
They don’t sell the fruit by kilo but by bunch. One bunch looks like less than half a kilo to me. After doing a quick mental computation I remarked, “Mahal!”
That is about Php75 for less than half a kilo. Come on.
She didn’t seem to wince. I asked the driver and he said that is a fair price already. I still think it is expensive.
“Bisa aku coba?”, I asked the lady.
“Tidak bisa”, she said.
“Kenapa? Bagaimana saya tau yang rambutan manis?”, I continued.
“Pasti manis semua.” she replied back.
That was a short conversation of me asking if I can taste test to see if it is really sweet in which she readily declined saying all are sweet. I don’t need to try. What?!
In the Philippines, you get to try about 2 to 3 pieces before you confirm a sale. Here, it is a different story.
Nevermind, the red fruit is really calling me so I asked for 3 ikat costing me IDR45,000 which I think is too costly for the amount.
I told the driver to stay put while I quickly tried one fruit after paying telling the lady that if the rambutan doesn’t meet the standards she has to give me my money back.
I never got my money back. The rambutan was just divine. It was heavenly sweet. One of the best rambutan I have eaten recently and I am not overacting. I finished one ikat in a heartbeat.
I asked the lady if she can “tamba” aka add extra rambutan for free since I bought a lot. She said she cannot. My gad. What is wrong with these people? Ahahahahahahaha.
Indonesia is so similar yet so different from the Philippines. But I love them all the same.