Freethought and Bananas

Where I live on the Kra Peninsula there are these awesome bananas which in Thai are called Kluai Heen which translates to Banana Heen. Most people around here feed Heen bananas to the poor birds they imprison in little cages which spend their days jumping from one side of the cage to the other probably imagining what it would be like to fly again. Because they lack of empathy and apparently have nothing better to do many of the local men often bring these poor birds to poor-bird-in-cage competitions where they see whose bird can cry “Let me out of this cage so I can fly!” the loudest.

Since most people consider them bird food when people see a foreigner eating a hand of Heen bananas they’re a bit surprised. In the area I’m referring to people do eat them but it seems rarely unless they’ve been cooked. One day I was looking to buy breakfast from a roadside fruit stall and I saw a hand of ripe Heen bananas in the back. I asked if I could buy them and she said they weren’t any good. When I insisted she said I could have them so I started eating my banana breakfast. I rarely eat bananas for breakfast as I prefer more juicy fruits in the morning but that day I was happy to make an exception.

After eating one and confirming my prediction I told her they were awesome and offered her to try one but she gave me a slight “surprised/you’re crazy look” and refused. She said they were no good because those bananas have to be cooked before you can eat them and only birds would eat them like that. I asked her if she had tried ones that are ripe and she said “No.”. So I asked her how she knew they were no good and she said “Because my husband told me.”, so I asked her if he had tried them and she said “No.”, so I asked how would he know and she said “The elders told him”.

The point of this post is to remind anyone who reads it not to blindly accept the assessments of perceived figures of authority and instead think for yourself, do your own research, and when applicable/safe do your own experiments and who knows maybe one day it might even score you a free breakfast.

banana heen