Fruit & development

Still in Dili. This hotel, the Discovery Inn, has a good restaurant (one of the best in town, apparently; where we go when we want to act like grown-ups, one long-term foreign resident said), but no matter how good a restaurant and a menu may be, repeated exposure jades appetite. So we have broadened our eating horizons a little. The other night, at One More Bar with its expansive sea views, I ordered a fresh fruit crepe. The crepe was fine, but imagine my surprise to find the fresh fruit consisted largely of chopped IMPORTED apple. It’s the same thing at breakfast at the hotel – apples, pears, oranges feature. Usually a hand of local bananas, and some chopped pawpaw. But really, it’s absurd. And wrong. There is so much fresh fruit available locally – mangoes, pineapples, and much more. Why don’t they use it? I remember years ago a doco in the film festival, revealing the parasitical nature of tourism in the West Indies. Foreign owned businesses, repatriating profits, buying from offshore, using large amounts of local resources, like fresh water. There are lots of signs around Dili – buy local, build Timor Leste – it would be a small thing to start with fresh fruit.

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