Friday, December 20, 2013

Queuing For Bananas

Back in the days of communism, imports from non-socialist countries were not allowed.  Shortages of goods were commonplace.  Exotic fruits, such as Mandarin oranges and bananas were normally only available at Christmas time.

When stores would get oranges or bananas, I assume from Cuba, people would wait in line for hours.  Products were strictly rationed.  You had to show your ID card and could only purchase 1 or 2 kilos of fruit per family member.   

It's hard to think of oranges and bananas as exotic.   Now one can buy as many oranges and bananas, and even kiwis and pineapples without standing in line more than a few minutes.  Oranges are still part of the Christmas tradition.  And when you see long lines of people at government offices, ticket offices, etc., the expression is that the people are 'queuing for bananas.'

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