Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Going Bananas

If this were a joke, it would start with "What do Australia and the former GDR have in common?" The answer is: bananas are just as precious and expensive a treat. First I noticed that the office canteen is well-stocked with all sorts of fruits every day, including 3 different types of melon, fresh pineapple and passion fruit, but never banana.

Then I was at a supermarket, about to break off some bananas from a bigger stalk, when I noticed the price. 13 AU$ (10 € ) for a kilo? WTF?!? Had I misread that? It turned out I hadn't and thanks to the Australian filling me in I now know that most fruits and vegetables are grown locally in Australia and most banana plantations are located in Queensland and therefore destroyed by severe floods this January. Therefore bananas had become scarce and expensive. Prices have stabilized a bit now, and you can get them for under AUD 10 again, but still...
I found it very funny when a colleague told me that at a business trip to New Zealand, which is not affected by the "banana crisis", she took a banana from the breakfast buffet and when checking out reminded the receptionist that she also had to pay for a banana. He gave her a puzzled look as the fruit was free of course, but she was so used to bananas being an "extra" you had to pay for that she assumed she would be charged for it.
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