The Plum Candy

When I was six and lived in a community of tiny half-dilapidated apartments, one of my friends and her family were going to be relocated in another city. One day, my mother and my friend’s mothers went to help the family with the painting of the old apartment, and we children were told to stay at one of my friends’ home while the adults were busy with the painting task.

My friend’s apartment was also tiny, and once all the children arrived, it was packed. We played house and different games in that crowded space until my friend’s mother called us for snacks.

She poured juice in plastic cups and offered us a variety of snack items on the table. They had been brought in by each of our mothers earlier that day. One of them was a package of candies with a picture of a traditionally dressed lady on it.

“What’s this?” I asked my friend’s mother, intrigued.

“Oh, these are plum candies. I think your mother brought it. Do you want to try one?”

She then took out one candy and handed it to me. I eagerly threw it in my mouth.

As soon as the plum flavour spread in my mouth, however, my face became bitter.

“I don’t like it!” I shouted. “A weird taste!”

“You don’t like it?” My friend’s mother turned back to see my reaction. “You can spit it out if you don’t like the taste. I will have it!”

“You will?”

A little surprised, I quickly took out the candy from my mouth and placed it on the plate.

“Will you really eat this?”

“Oh, yes, I will! And I will let you know what I thought of it later!”

Just then, everybody finished eating their snack and we all resumed our play time.

Some time later, when I passed by the kitchen, my friend’s mother called me to her side.

“That candy had plum jelly inside. It was very interesting. I liked this candy!”

I listened to her comment intently. I regretted that I had missed the most interesting part because I was too impatient to taste the candy until the end.

Later, when I went to shopping with my mother, I asked her to buy me a package of plum candies. This time, I remained patient to taste one candy until its end. I still did not like the plum flavour, but recalling my friend’s mother’s comment, I tried to appreciate it. Then finally, that most interesting part arrived – the soft plum jelly melted in my mouth. Though I did not like the taste of the jelly either, because I had been anticipating it so much, the experience felt special.

I went back to this plum candy again and again, each time with more determination to appreciate it better until eventually I no longer disliked it and started to really like the taste.