The island where I lived when I was a child and the word food are synonymous of trouble to me. I remember the “struggle” between our parents and both of us, especially my vegetarian sister, in a time when vegetarianism wasn’t so common as today. When I visited one of the houses where we lived, I couldn’t help a look inside the big room that used to be our dinning area, now completely empty because the family who lives there owns insufficient furniture for such a big house. Before there was an impressive long dinning table that looked to us like a rectangular torture instrument. Today I am inclined to think that our distaste for food had to do with the hot and dry climate, making us pick all sort of liquids instead.
I understand our parents’ agony because it was really difficult to obtain food without a bridge like today. Sometimes my mother should feel so happy when she could get something really nice, just to see our complete indifference in return!
Today, even with the bridge, food in general is not that abundant. Paul was quite surprised with the almost empty shelves inside the shops, but I guess the system of selling and buying is still done like long ago: door-to-door. People from the continent cross the bridge with their products, by bus or even walking, and go straight to the houses of their clients. Why bother to pay for a place on the market, if it is so much easier to sell directly in such a small town? Just in case, don’t expect supermarkets, cinema or similar amenities while there.
Because of all that, we were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the French restaurant where we had most of our meals. We can even say that one of the good restaurants in Mozambique happens to be on the island! We shall miss the salads, especially with lobster or locally smoked fish, and the freshly squeezed fruit juices!