So the research began...
Months back I read about an elusive woman at one market who sells dragonfruit wine made in Johor state. On specific days she sets up shop hustling eggs and sweet treats, but hidden on the backside of her crate is a sign advertising the red wine. After a nearly 4 month investigation, I found her. I found her on a quiet, nondescript Friday morning perched in the courtyard's corner. I enthusiastically placed my order, sure as eggs is eggs this wine was going to turn my story into a magnum opus!
The following day I returned bright and early to make the RM49 exchange. The woman deserted her crate booth, strolled halfway across the market to an undisclosed location, crawled underneath a cabinet, and hurled my contraband into an opaque bag with a flick of the wrist. Meanwhile twenty loitering bystanders gave me the eye.
"Boy, do I have a surprise for you!" I gushed over the phone to our Kiwi friends. In less than one hour we were at their house, bottle in hand and proud as punch of our semi-smuggled stash — for research purposes, of course. Rachael cracked 'er open and grabbed a camera to document the awesomely odd occasion.
We gave a toast and took a swig. I believe that's about as far as any of us got to finishing the "wine." As the liquids burned the length of my esophagus, which at the time felt as long as a football field, so too went my pièce de résistance. You can be certain if I ever tout a suggestion or thrilling find, it's been field tested by me and my
And if anyone says a writer's gig isn't life threatening, I'll assume they've never drank dragonfruit wine from Johor.