A couple of weeks in, and a few themes have emerged in the conversations we’ve been having out here. At the moment, it’s still quite funny to hear the debates about certain words, meanings, and pronunciations (think trousers/ flip-flops/ vest vs pants/ thongs/singlet), and we’re happy to chuckle over the rivalry between the Sydneysiders and the Victorians (Melbourne’s inhabitants), especially while we’re trying to decide where to settle for a bit, get jobs and attempt to save to travel (we’ve chosen NSW, by the way, much to the disgust of our new friends in Melbourne). I CAN see these topics getting tired after a while though, unless we decide to weigh in and speak our minds, which is something both Tracy and I seem to have no problem with – her 3am suggestion to the two teenagers on the other side of a dark dorm being a prime example: I’m just gonna put this out there; if you’re going to have sex, use a condom, and there’s probably more privacy in the bathroom. Just a suggestion.
But that back-and-forth debate about which of the key cities is cooler/better/more creative/more fun/the best city in Australia is old hat. Because if you want to be right on trend/ topic at this moment in time, the conversation you need to be having is about… Bananas.
Yup, that’s right. The waxy-skinned yellow fruit is the source of many a discussion right now – not in a do-you-like/hate-the-energy-packed-breakfast-staple way, but in a can-you-AFFORD-to-eat-them-right-now way.
The conversation goes something like the one between two of the boys in our first hostel:
– (Boy One) Have you eaten that banana yet?
– (Boy Two) No, it’s still in my locker
– (1) Can’t bring yourself to eat the $3 wonder?
– (2) Yeah, I’m saving it – I can’t afford another one quite yet
– (Me) Sorry, did you just say you paid three bucks for a banana? What’s it made of? Gold?
– (2) Might as well be! But I love bananas, so it’s almost worth it!
– (Me) O…kay?!
You read that right. Three dollars for a banana. And subsequent conversations have gone along similar lines, comparing the price of bananas all over the city – ‘I saw them for $2.50 each in Bondi’. I think we’ve discussed this topic with almost every person we’ve met. It’s almost the opposite of the wonderous chats we had in South America last year, where we almost became fruitarians because the local produce was so spectacularly cheap (think about 5p for an avocado!).
Weird and stupid as this sounds – and it’s amused me no end – it has a slightly darker root as the reason for the steep spend on fruit is due to the bad weather earlier in the year, which took out most of the plants, thus making them a rarer commodity. See? Even idle chit-chat has a cause – and it’s probably more current than the great cities debate, so I think I’ll keep having it. I can’t quite bring myself to buy fruit right now, though. The traveller budget just can’t take it!