Banana crisis in the Republic

Having run out of bananas, I wasn’t unduly worried–I’d just pop to the nearest grocery store and grab some. Problem is, none of the grocery stores nearby sell fruit.

Recently I moved to Austin’s East Side, which historically has been predominantly populated by minorities such as African-Americans and Latinos, and has been under-resourced in terms of services.

The area is gentrifying, evidenced by lanky white folk moving in, but the fresh fruit options haven’t caught up with the trendy-looking restaurants opening.

Ironically, in the 1920s, city laws forbade African-Americans living elsewhere in the city other than the East Side, keeping them separated from the rest of the white population, but now whites are moving in due to increasing rental prices around the rest of the city–which is why I came. Funny old world.

Last night, I couldn’t take the lack of bananas any more and hit the interstate and drove up to the Fiesta supermarket. I love Fiesta, it’s not too crowded, has an international vibe and with its price range caters toward lower socio-economic groups like Latinos and African-Americans, as well as freelance journalists.

Pushing my trolley, I noted how the place was peculiarly empty. The guy at the checkout till said it was because being the end of the month, many are having to make rent and waiting for pay cheques. Next week’s evenings will be heaving, he said.

That reminded me how many are dealing with challenges more weighty than a shortage of bananas.