The sound of vasdans music wafted through the air as I entered the grounds of the NG Kerk Gardeniapark for its annual bazaar. These sounds hit me at the same time as the smell of boerewors rolls – straight from the braai – reached my nose. Outside stood the oomies, massive boeps sticking out from under their shirts, while their good wives bought them yet another pancake from inside the hall. This was community togetherness the way I remember it from when I lived here, where everyone gathers to enjoy a day filled with traditional food, goeie geselskap, kids’ games such as sack races and jumping castles, and even a meat auction thrown in for good measure. (Today, two big packets of pork were bought for R850 by a lady who was told by the auctioneer – hopefully a friend! – ‘You’re already married to a pig, so another one won’t make a difference.’)
Even though I’m too old to take part in egg and spoon races – a fact that was proven when I was called ‘tannie‘ – I’m definitely not too old to enjoy the essence of a lekker church bazaar. Note that you don’t have to belong to the church to join in the fun, and the only reference to church things was that it was held at the community’s church. Live music outside (when last did you hear a boereorkes?), and familiar Afrikaans tunes playing inside the hall (O liewe Lulu, sal jy vanaand by my kom doedoe?) make for a day of interesting Afrikaans culture with people of all ages.
If you search hard enough (or just listen to OFM like I do), you’ll find a church bazaar somewhere in Bloemfontein every weekend. It’s a great way to avoid having to make lunch on a Saturday, especially as all the food is super cheap! Six cupcakes for R12; cakes starting from R30; and then potjiekos (seafood, chicken and mutton, which take about four hours to cook in their pots, which the one potjie-cooking man said to me is a very good time to drink!), curry and rice, slap chips, pancakes, boerewors rolls, malva pudding, jelly and custard, soup and bread, and, of course, moer koffie and tarts.
Man… I’m full!