Pears

11

When I was about 7 or 8 I went overseas to see relatives in East Turkestan. I have this vivid memory of sitting in my cousins’ house around the stove/heater and eating pears until I got sick. Honestly I hated pears in Australia but these pears were so delicious, crunchy, juicy – simply amazing. The sweetest and most succulent things I had ever tasted. I think my cousins and I were all in pyjamas, telling stories and having shimishka. I just kept devouring nashput after nashput. I don’t remember if I puked or not but I was well nauseous and only stopped because my cousin was showing me how the core would stick to the stove. I burnt my finger trying to pull it off. It hurt so I was crying and I think someone just stuck my finger in some ice-cold water from the water “tank” outside (it was snowing). That was also when I found out people put toothpaste on burns. I don’t think it works. The funny thing is, when food is linked to nausea or pain we usually develop a conditioned taste aversion but I just continued to crave those pears for so long. They started shipping fruits from East Turkestan to Australia years ago (e.g. melons from Kumul) and I had seen these pears before, but today I (rather unexpectedly) found one in an Asian shop near my house. The taste isn’t as crisp and perfect but the essence is there. Ah, so good. Pears.

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