Why ‘No Durian Inside’ Rule is Legitimate

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April 20, 2011

Why ‘No Durian Inside’ Rule is Legitimate

It was just another normal day at the office in Seoul. In the quite office, I heard someone was mumbling something out loud. Thought ‘ugh, another argument? Oh come on.’ and just got back to work. And that became a big fuss and transfer to all over the office and finally to me, at the end of the office.

“What’s wrong?”  I asked.

“There’s gas leak downstairs. Can’t you smell it?” One of the crowd said.

“What? Gas?”

While questioning the question, I could smell something. It was… unusual, yes, but I didn’t think that was gas. What do we use gas for in the office building in summer? But, it was a big deal if there was really a fire in anywhere in 41stories building.


While I was walking back to my seat, I smell, and thought,

‘I know the smell… what is it? It’s oddly familiar…’


It really smell liked some gas or similar kind. Very odd. In no time the smell spread to the whole floor. Several people started to run to the outside. I was still thinking ‘what is it?’. And it hit me.




(If it was a cartoon page, I would have a bright light bulb right beside of my head and two bright shiny eyes. )

and I cynically smiled and thought,

‘There’s no way Durian is in the building. In Seoul? No way.’


I’ve never seen durian until I backpacked to Southeast Asia. It was highly unlikely the durian suddenly appeared to the office in Seoul and spread the smell all over. It would be fun though. After few moments later the smell went away, and people were make sure if there was no fire in anywhere in the building. Still the source of the smell remained as a mystery.  We all went back to work, and day went by as usual.


A few hours later, I went downstairs to do something and you know what? That WAS durian! Some idiot brought it to show off, and made all the fuss. Yeah, you show off good, pal. I felt sorry for the person and amused at the same time. I couldn’t stop chuckle. After all, I really did smell durian after few years. In Seoul! That was pretty awesome.



Durian in Hong Kong


Durian was the first fruite I ate in my recent trip to Bangkok. We spotted that on the street while walking down the street on first day. Thailand durian didn’t look as intimidate as others. The thorn outside is smaller than what I saw before. Well, it was delicious though. And it didn’t stink as much as I remembered either. Maybe I got used to it and have a funny memory of ‘gas-leaking-smell-like-so-it-makes-me-chuckle’ durian.


In Southeast Asia, ‘No Durian in…’ sign is everywhere. In a subway, taxi, hotel room and various other places. At first that was little odd. I understand ‘no food’ policy but ‘no durian’ policy? But after I smell durian in the street of Singapore, I totally got the point. So yes. I understand. No durian inside rule is legitimate. It could freak people out. I witnessed it. I should make a sign by myself and put that infront of the office building says ‘No Durian and No Show off’.


Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .


  1. Tom says:

    Haha durian in Seoul?! How strange!

    I’ve never tried it before, but I’ve heard all kinds of tales about the smell.

    My mum lived in Malaysia when she was in her teens, and said that there was a public advert on TV warning against consuming too much of the fruit. It was a man passed out in the back of a truck with the slogan, “Ishmael ate too much durian” haha!

    Although the idea of a cheese & onion scented fruit scares me…I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope it doesn’t become popular here in Korea haha!

    It’s funny to imagine you chuckling to yourself at work…I do it all the time. My students think I’m insane… 😉

  2. Lauren says:

    I’ve been hearing so much about the infamous durian that I’m feeling left out I’ve never been able to try/smell it!

    The first thing I’m going to do on arriving in SE Asia is find me some durian!!

  3. Kevin says:

    Last year in Madison, Wisconsin — not a place known for its durian — an entire building downtown was cleared out in a panic. The cause? Possible gas leak. The real cause? The awesome ice cream store downstairs was experimenting with some radical new exotic (for Wisconsin) flavors. Durian, of course. Apologies were made and in the newspaper the ice cream maker chuckled, I guess maybe we won’t be making durian again.

    • Juno says:

      They all had their lessons. It’s hilarious though, isn’t it? Durian ice cream would be awesome. The texture could be hard to deal with but I would totally buy one. Maybe you could try it when you move in to Madison again!

  4. Wai Tsui says:

    Gas leak!? Ha ha ha that’s hilarious! I just love Durian to death and I still have a WHOLE durian in my fridge right now (now is the season). You guys should really try it out. It may smell bad but it surely tastes great! (at least to me)

  5. Yikes! I once spent a night trapped in a Vetnamese train car with a family eating durian. The smell is just disgusting!

    • Juno says:

      Yeah, I remember the first encounter with Durian. It was a local market in Chinatown Singapore, I shocked by the smell. But actually it tasted very good. Durian reminds me of stinky tofu, which I haven’t tried yet, but everyone says the same thing “It doesn’t taste as bad as smell”. But I don’t know if I can try that. I mean, durian is shiny and yellow, pretty inside! But stinky tofu is black.

  6. Roy says:

    Oh yeah, don’t mind the taste but it smells BAD!

  7. Andrea says:

    Haha, I’ve only seen Durian on television and it looks gross to me – don’t think I could try it!

  8. Erica says:

    You know, I keep hearing about how terrible durian smells and I’m really starting to wonder what it smells like. Even if it smells god awful!

  9. Lan Othmann says:

    Oh come on! if I am the building owner, I will put a sign “Durians Allowed, But Please Share With Everybody”. Haha! I love durians. Great post!

  10. Evan says:

    Uuuugghhh… Can’t stand the smell of durian!

  11. Kristia says:

    Durian=gas leak??? That’s really something new to me… hhh

    It’s everywhere in Indonesia between September-January. We even call it Durian season. Dry season… Rainy season… and yes, Durian season. ^^

    However I’ve never seen any ‘No Durian In..’ sign anywhere here.

  12. Aggy says:

    I so agree with the No Durian policy…they are stinky! I hate the taste of Durian even if the whole family loves them. So when they buy durian, I lock myself inside my room and cover my nose…I really cannot stand it!

  13. iceprinxess says:

    The durian rule is so very true, as the smell is very strong. Besides the fruit itself (and if you can handle the smell), the next time you should try the products made from the fruit, there’s ice-cream, cakes, cream-puff, pancakes and a whole lot other variations. ^^

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