Saturday, February 28, 2009
In the summer of 1992 I spent about 3 weeks ministering in a small village in Estonia. Due to their exorbitant price of about $0.50 per pound, it was rare for the locals to buy more than one or two bananas at a time. Since the bananas were shipped in from Costa Rica or Honduras (I don't remember which now), they were both exotic and expensive by local standards.
This small bit of information was unknown to me as I perused the limited fruit offerings in the local market, which consisted mostly of various wild berries gathered from the nearby forests. Since bananas are decidedly higher than wild berries on the list of fruit I like, and considering they were only $0.50 per pound, I grabbed a couple pounds, dropped a dollar on the counter and was on my way.
Little did I know that I had just sent shock waves through the little village. I had no idea that buying a dollar's worth of bananas and strolling through the village with them in open view would say, "I'm a high roller!" A Mercedes, maybe. But a handful of bananas?
In Israel, bananas are locally produced and are viewed a bit differently than in Estonia. They are available here year round with only occasional lulls in quantity and quality. And, unlike Estonia circa 1992, they are not a status symbol here.