There are times when I'm more aware than others that I'm living quite far away from where I grew up.
These hairy, psychedelic orbs (yellow rambutans) began sprouting on a tree behind our house a month or so ago. A great number of them -- wholly grass-green and the size of a large marble to begin with -- were devoured by a not-very-small lizard that crawled daily to the very tips of the tree's branches in search of a snack.
Those that survived lizard lust (quite a lot, in fact) are now the desire of monkeys, which descend on the tree in chattering groups of 4 or 5, shaking the branches to dislodge the fruits and then leaping to the patio below to gather their harvest. Unlike this blogger in Azerbaijan (one of my favorite blogs, by the way, even though it's nothing to do with food) I have nothing at all against monkeys, and every time they show up for a rambutan feast I can't help but think of naughty, adorable Curious George.
But monkeys are not cuddly creatures. In fact they can be quite nasty, as was demonstrated when an acquaintance's dog was attacked by a group of them and ended up in vet clinic for two weeks.
When the monkeys make an appearance, we bring the cats in.
As for the fruits themselves, while they're lovely to look at they're not much to eat. They're sweet, but not very juicy, and the skin of the seeds sticks to the flesh. I may have a bounty of yellow rambutans in my backyard, but I'm sticking to the store-bought red variety.