Durians on the Road

Durians, durians, durians everywhere (Photo: The Global Gamine)

TRAFFIC jams are awful. They are particularly bad when your bladder is full, or when you are running late for a test in school. That was exactly what happened the morning Katy had to sit for her English test. The cars on the CTE were inching forward at a crawling pace.

Katy’s father was mildly agitated, but soon he would keep his cool. That’s because Katy had begun to cry. Poor Katy! It was already 7.15AM and they were still on the road. Surely, she wouldn’t be able to make it on time for her English test at 7.30AM.

“What’s going on?” her father said. “We’re typically in school by now. There’s got to be an accident somewhere.”

True enough, just as they were approaching Clemenceau Avenue, the cars on the CTE veered left away from a truck that had overturned, a truck filled with durians. No wonder the air was filled with durian smells! And look at all those durians that got strewn on the road!

“Oh my!” Katy gasped.

“That’s a lot of durians,” her father said, shaking his head in disbelief, trying to figure how much all that would cost. There must have been eighty, ninety, goodness knows how many.

“The driver’s not hurt, I hope?” Katy said.

They couldn’t quite tell from where they were. There was no ambulance, just two police officers directing traffic, and another two kicking stray durians so they would huddle as close to the truck as possible. As they cleared the bottleneck, all the cars began picking up speed. By the time they got to school, it was 7:50AM.

Mrs. Fong, the form teacher, smiled at Katy as she stood by the door of the classroom, hesitating to step in. Before Katy could say anything, Mrs. Fong said, “It’s OK. Traffic jams happen.”

For once, Katy forgot that lousy, nervous feeling that always comes creeping to her before a test. She eventually got a high score—she won’t say what it was—but she did have this thought: “Thank you, durians!”

(343 words)


Kristen Chan, Primary Two
June 2017

For more essays by Kristen, visit Kristen Writes.

This essay was written in response to four boxed pictures:

  • a father and daughter are stuck in traffic in their car, the girl is in tears
  • they drive past an overturned durian truck, there are durians strewn about on the road
  • the girl is walking towards to the school gate, her father looks on 
  • a kindly-faced teacher gestures for the girl to come in and sit for the “ENGLISH TEST”—the two words written large and bold on the blackboard

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