Passengers create stink over pungent Indonesian planeload of durian

While some consider durian the ‘king of fruits,’ detractors consider its odor to be closer to sewage, stale vomit or damp socks. (AFP)
Updated 07 November 2018
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Passengers create stink over pungent Indonesian planeload of durian

  • Durian is highly popular in Southeast Asia but very divisive
  • ‘Durian is not classified as a hazardous material to be transported on a plane’

JAKARTA: A cargo of pungent durian fruit led an Indonesian plane to be delayed for an hour after passengers turned their noses up at the funky freight and refused to fly.
Durian is highly popular in Southeast Asia but very divisive. While some consider it the “king of fruits,” likening its creamy texture and intense aroma to blue cheese, detractors consider its odor to be closer to sewage, stale vomit or damp socks.
Passengers booked on a Sriwijaya Air flight from Bengkulu province in Sumatra to Jakarta on Monday complained to staff after smelling the fruit and refused to get on the plane — repulsed by the pungent payload and concerned about the extra weight on board.
The airline admitted it was carrying more than two tons of the whiffy wares but insisted they posed no danger to the flight, adding the smell would dissipate once the aircraft took off.
“Durian is not classified as a hazardous material to be transported on a plane,” Sriwijaya Air official Abdul Rahim told national television station Kompas TV late Tuesday.
He blamed unusually hot weather for the stench.
“We made the necessary precautions, such as putting in pandan leaves and coffee powder to absorb the durian smell,” Rahim said.
Staff decided to unload the fruit after passengers who had boarded the flight decided to get off the plane, which took off an hour later and landed safely in Jakarta.
Bengkulu airport staff said they would review procedures regarding transport of durian to avoid passenger discomfort in the future.


From Havana to the UAE: Camila Cabello’s visit gives her a ‘special feeling’

Updated 17 February 2019
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From Havana to the UAE: Camila Cabello’s visit gives her a ‘special feeling’

  • Cuban-American singing sensation Camila Cabello's visit to the UAE left her leaving humbled
  • The singer's performance in Dubai was well received and led to social media postings about how loved she felt

DUBAI: Cuban-American singing sensation Camila Cabello, who performed at the RedFest DXB 2019 music festival in Dubai over the weekend, took time out before the show to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. 

The singer of the hit song “Havana,” which she performed at the Grammys last week, posted a photo on Instagram of herself at the mosque wearing a hijab, which is provided for all female visitors. 

“I wore a hijab to be respectful when visiting this mosque, and at the store this really sweet girl helped me put it on,” Cabello wrote on her Instagram. 

“We didn’t speak the same language, but she was smiling as she helped me, and it felt like she was a close friend.” 

Her Instagram caption began: “One of my favorite people, Anthony Bourdain, once said, ‘It seems that the more places I experience, the bigger I realize the world to be’ — it’s so true, I love the feeling of being humbled by traveling to another place and experiencing a completely different culture. It makes you realize how small your world is in comparison to how big the world actually is; how you’re only living one version in a million of the human experience. But at the same time travel makes you realize we’re not really all that different.”

Cabello, previously a member of pop group Fifth Harmony, added: “I can’t really describe it, but experiences like this give me such a special feeling of being really close to and really loving people.”

She continued her ode to the UAE on Sunday, posting a photo of herself in a long, flowing dress in the desert and urging people to travel “to a place that couldn’t be more different than what you know.” 

She wrote: “Never in my life did I think I would see a place like this. Getting to see places like this just makes me more desperate to see more.”

The 21-year-old singer performed at the Dubai Media City Amphitheater on Friday, along with rapper Macklemore. 

Her one-hour set opened with the 1980s-inspired ballad “Never Be the Same,” and included other hit numbers such as “Lost Control” and “Inside Out.” She closed the set with the chart-topping track “Havana.” 

Post-concert, Cabello tweeted: “I’ve got so much love to my fans from the Middle East. I didn’t realize there were so many of you out there.”