• Sandra Caganoff

Death of the Avocado

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

“I’ll have what she’s having,” I said to the waiter, echoing my friend who ordered avocado toast for breakfast.


“It’s an extra R 20.00" he told us. “We’re struggling to get good avocados right now so, ja, quite expensive...”


We looked at each other. Hmmm.


R 100 for avocado toast.


“SURE,” we said in unison, whilst quietly thinking "OY."


And then we got the toast and laughed and laughed and spooned the baby baby baby avocado into our mouths and even the toast was difficult to find but it was beautifully plated and tasted delicious and we had been warned.


We laughed some more then called for the bill.


While paying, I asked the waiter if he could please give me the owner’s name and number.


Not to complain about the avo, I said, you did warn us. But to see if she wants to buy hand sanitiser from me.


It's what I sell these days.


He pointed her out, keen to make an introduction. I get a bit shy especially when it comes to sales and cold calling and I am new at this, so I said no no I will just go right over, okay, I breathed in, here goes, and made my way to where Samantha was doing her accounts.


Hey, I said, keeping six feet away and wearing a mask and really struggling to hear and be heard…


Hi, she said.


I’ve just had breakfast, thank you so much, you make great coffee, the avocado toast was kind of silly but I’m not here to complain although it was really ridiculous, actually I’m selling these sexy hand sanitisers and here is a lovely bottle, it’s the size of an overpriced avocado STOP SANDRA STOP what is wrong with you, I thought you might be keen to sell them at your coffee counter?


She asked to see a bottle.


They are R 10000.00 each, oh no they are R 55.00, sorry sorry I was getting confused with a fruit farm, this one is rose scented, here breathe it in, oops oh it’s actually citrus, sorry I didn't mean to spray it in your eyes, thank god it’s not avocado, look why don’t I just take your email and send you the details I said.


Sure, she replied sweetly, and of course my pen wasn't working and it was all disastrous and I left the shop thinking I should’ve just stuck to a bran muffin and coffee.


“How’d it go?” asked the waiter as I was leaving.


Ja fine, not bad, hahaha terrible, I told him, but also thought it was so cool he cared.


I got home.


The first thing I did was follow up with Samantha on email giving all the right information and only mentioning avocado once, in the subject line.


When will your avocados come back from war?


She has not replied yet but I am feeling fairly positive.


The next thing I did was read the news. Avocados are major headlines everywhere. There are avocado syndicates in South Africa, people with guns, big ones, targeting farms, small shop owners and even the sidewalk fruit and veg sellers.


Avocado cartels are stealing avocados for the local and global markets.


There are literally avocado wars going on and they are terrible.


I started this story while I was still crying with laughter at my avocado toast.


But now I am just crying.


Because it feels like nothing is safe anymore.


Not even our avocados.


https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2020/02/07/avocados-mexican-drug-cartels


https://www.foodformzansi.co.za/avocados-syndicate-boom/?fbclid=IwAR0YElU5fX-00Br2Ut5xUbatfD-HiCTGPoNsVwJB6V-ix47tbmmagTs4vXE



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