Thursday, August 13, 2009


Dear Friends,

O.K., everybody, let's play a game called, "Guess the Name of the Fruit". Every day since my arrival at my little apartment in Amoudara, my landlord’s husband has ventured just across the narrow road where the apartment building is located, and picked some type of fruit off of a tree which appears to be growing wild in a vacant lot. Yesterday, Wednesday, August 12th., after having picked a small bucket-full of the aforementioned fruit, my landlord’s husband came over to me as I was sitting on my patio sipping my morning coffee and extended a plate full of the fruit that he had picked earlier. Even though I had no idea what it was, or how it was to be eaten, I graciously accepted it amid a flurry of “Efharisto poli’s” (thank you very much). I carried the plate of the fruit inside and decided to try one. Was I supposed to peel it...wash it...boil it...cook it...or just eat it raw? Well, I decided to take a chance and just put one in my mouth and bite down. After placing it in my mouth, I bit down slowly...carefully...deliberately. It was very soft - almost mushy, and sweet, but not so sweet as to be overpowering. There must have been hundreds of tiny seeds, too many to be spit out, so I just munched them. They seemed to give a slightly crunchy effect to the softness of the fruit. The plate must have contained more than twenty of the fruit, and I ate about six or seven of them. Later that afternoon, when I saw my landlord, Stella, I asked her what the fruit was. She replied, “syka” (pronounced, “see'-ka”). Then, pointing at her abdomen, she said, “Good for the stomach...tomorrow”. O.K. Did I just eat something that has the laxative properties of prunes? I pondered if I should even venture out later that evening. I stayed close to my apartment, but there was no unusual increase in my “activity”. This morning, everything was normal (I can’t believe that I am even writing about this!!!). And, after taking the photographs posted below, I came back inside and even ate six or seven more of the mystery fruit. So, what is “syka”? Well, later this afternoon, I discovered the identity of “syka”. However, I am not going to reveal what the fruit is...not just yet. I want to give you a chance to identify it before I tell you what the fruit is. If you think you know what the fruit is, just click on "Comments" at the bottom of this entry, and enter what you think the fruit is. I will reveal its identity in just a few days.

To celebrate the fact that I had successfully discovered the identity of “syka”, I ate a few more of them and sipped on a small glass of raki! Life is good!
Take care, stay well, and let me hear from you.
Your Friend and Fellow "Silent Warrior",
Bob Armistead

TOP LEFT PHOTO: The fruit tree located just across the road from my apartment.
TOP RIGHT PHOTO: A nearly ripe fruit (purple) among the not-so-ripe (green) fruit.

TOP LEFT PHOTO: A ripe fruit (left) next to an un-ripe fruit (right).
TOP RIGHT PHOTO: Three ripe fruit on a plate - ready for eating.

TOP LEFT PHOTO: A fruit that has been sliced in half.


Pete said...


Pete said...

And if it is a fig, definite laxative effect. ;-)

William said...

The look like Fig Newton "innards" to me.
From Wikipedia: Figs and health
Figs are one of the highest plant sources of calcium and fiber. According to USDA data for the Mission variety, dried figs are richest in fiber, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin K, relative to human needs. They have smaller amounts of many other nutrients. Figs have a laxative effect and contain many antioxidants. They are good source of flavonoids and polyphenols. In one study, a 40-gram portion of dried figs (two medium size figs) produced a significant increase in plasma antioxidant capacity........And good for you too....Enjoy
Bill "Hair" Simmons

Steve G. said...

I think I can help you here Bob. This is a Syka. These are totally harmless unless eaten.
Raki will hold back the effects for about three days. Then you will probably have to find another apartment.
Fred E.

vesparider said...

Definitely a fig. And yes, there is a laxative effect. My grandfather used to eat dried figs for just that purpose.

mac said...

Figs it is.Have 2 trees in the back yard and the wife's family on Crete have many.

Susan Millett said...