Tuesday 11 May 2010

Slipping up on banana skins

"All credit to the original photographer who retains the copyright"

I'm having trouble with bananas again. It seems bananas have always given me problems, but these days they're a real challenge. The thing is, I like to eat a banana for my lunch...pretty much every day given the chance. But for some reason, the days of buying yellow bananas seems to be over. All our local shops sell are green ones. It wouldn't be so bad if they were supposed to be green, but it's just that they're unripe and inedible. Ah I hear you cry, why not buy in advance and let them turn yellow on your desk. A good point well made, but these bananas turn from green to black swifter than you can imagine. And anyway, I'm not so good at planning ahead. So my daily lunchtime routine involves treking round every sandwich shop (don't bother with Sainsbury's because there they are always very, very green) until I find something that might just be edible. What has happened? Have the banana boats got quicker so they arrive very quickly after they've been cut off the banana tree? I just don't know, but it is a right pain.

I had heard that there will be no more bananas in 50 years because a disease is killing them off, but it turns out this is just another one of those urban myths that do the rounds and trip up the gullible like me.

There's also been a trade war waged by Europe and America because of bananas..something to do with us favouring the products from our old colonies.

Stepfather in Cyprus told us tales of when he used to work unloading bananas...presumably from the bateaux de bananes...and just occasionally you'd find poisonous snakes and poisonous spiders woken up from their slumbers by the sudden cold. I think he ran a mile, but I can't really remember so well.

Bananas have always been a problem for me. My earliest banana memory was whilst at a two day interview for a place at St Edmunds College Oxford. I'd done ok, but not brilliantly at the entrance exam....I'd been distracted by the discovery of girls..one in particular, and my interest in her hadn't helped my exam technique. Anyway, over lunch one of my fellow applicants, a rather enticing girl, said, "What is it about bananas...you can't eat them without it seeming rude." I blushed, but didn't decline her offer of seeing round her room. I may have been distracted again as I ended up going to Exeter University.

On the other hand, I get on quite well when I read Bateau de Banane...may be I should stick to blogs and eat apples instead