Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Supply and Demand

Other than the multitude of armed guards outside, shopping for food in the tony Zone 14 neighborhood where most embassy employees live is not so terribly different from the United States. In fact, a large stake in the local grocer was recently acquired by those champions of local color, Wal-Mart. As such, reader requests for a report on what grocery shopping is like have gone unfulfilled; partly because the editors are not quite sure if there are enough differences to make it worth writing (or reading) about.

But yesterday, unbelievably, shockingly, disconcertingly, the grocery store was not carrying bananas. Not that there was a big empty spot on the shelf where some early bird had already grabbed the last of the day's banana shipment. There just weren't any that day. This is the second such occurrence -- once was a fluke, but now we're on to something. Not being able to get bananas in the store in Guatemala is like going Wisconsin and finding out that they're out of cheese. It's like going to France and hearing there's no wine for sale that day. It's like going to Baltimore and not being able to find heroin.

Your correspondent has personally been in Guatemalan locales where all one could see for miles in every direction was bananas. Among the ubiquitous ambulatory shopping alternatives at any traffic jam in the city is a guy carrying around a bunch of bananas, hoping someone stopped at a light will buy a snack. Not five miles away there's a whole store dedicated solely to bananas! How can the same logistical machine that somehow makes it possible to get shrimp every day in the middle of the mountains be incapable of driving a few blocks to pick up some bananas? Something is afoot. This publication will not rest until the conspiracy is fully uncovered.


MsBoombastic said...

Very suspicious. I, too, would have thought the banana supply down there was endless. On my no-longer-quite-so-recent trip to the original Banana Republic, Honduras, last summer, I ate very tasty bananas at least once a day, with the occasional choco-banana treat in the midafternoon. Come to think of it, aren't you sick of bananas yet?

MLE said...

Bananas are gross, yo.