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Baby Bananas and the Beady Eyed Fruit Man

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Baby Bananas and the Beady Eyed Fruit Man

On a dark Brooklyn night as I was walking down Dekalb Avenue I passed by an dark haired, dark skinned fruit vendor. The oddness of a man selling sidewalk fruit through the night made me realize that I in fact wanted to eat some. So I stopped short and returned to the little dark man in front of a pushcart filled with plums, grapes, and bananas. He had beady eyes.
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Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Brooklyn, New York City- mid September, 2008
Travelogue Travel Photos
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I asked how much the plums cost and he said three for a dollar – the going rate. So I said give me three. He put three plums into a bag. I then made a motion to pay but noticed some bananas off to the side of the cart that I knew that I would enjoy eating, so I inquired about their price.

Picking up a bundle the fruit man said that I could have it for two dollars. I did not want to spend this much on bananas so I turned them down.

“But these are special bananas,” the vendor began, “they are very little and are not like the big bananas.”

He was right, the bananas were the little thumb-like ones that are real fat and taste real good. I really like this variant of banana and I was quickly being sold on them, even though the price was a little higher than I wanted to pay.

“These bananas also have a special name,” the vendor continued as he reverentially passed the bundle of yellow fruit in front of me. “They are called,” he paused and brought his face close to mine before whispering, “baby bananas.”

The anti-climax of the suspense yanked a laugh out of me and I dug into my pocket and bought the “baby bananas” appreciatively. As I did so the fruit man continued to tell me all about the benefits of these bananas and how special they were. He was acting a little funny but I thought nothing of it.

“I know all about these bananas,” I cut in, “I have traveled all through South America and ate tons of them.” I spoke proudly.

The fruit man patronized me with words of acquiescence. “Will I see you tomorrow?” he then asked.

“Maybe if these bananas are as good as I think they are,” I replied.

They weren’t.

I arrived at my room and ripped one open only to discover that I was sold a bundle of typical bananas that were fully and completely unripe.

The produce that I purchased really were “baby bananas.”

The fruit man had beady eyes but he did not lie.

Links to previous travelogue entries:

  • Not to Columbia Journalism Department
  • Vagabond Finds Home in Brooklyn
  • Space Noises in a Brooklyn Abandoned Lot

Baby Bananas and the Beady Eyed Fruit Man
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Filed under: New York City, USA

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Polis, Republic of CyprusMap