Langenhoven Park’s Boeremark is the place to see and be seen on a Saturday in Bloem. The site dedicated specifically to this weekly event was yet again abuzz yesterday morning. I arrived with a brother whom I’d dragged out of bed to join me, lost him to the boerewors rolls and pineapples (he told a friend he bumped into that he’s sure he’ll need then sometime during the week – turns out we’ll soon be experiencing Bloemfontein’s first pineapple-beer brewery!), and reconnected an hour later after having bumped into four people I knew (see, Bloem is small enough to know people wherever you go, but also big enough to not know everyone).
So there are the usual things for sale at such a market – fruit and veg and meat and eggs straight from the farm; but there are also less obvious items, like vinyl wall art, ostrich eggs on which you can have your photo placed, weight-loss pills, orchids, Mills and Boon books, and pinatas for kids’ parties.
Scottish terriers, trade-in DVDs, wool, ginger beer, bath salts, rusks, toilet paper, chutney, wooden frames, leather jackets, cheeses, dogs’ houses, wicker baskets and mock Crocs are all on sale, ready to be chosen and put into a makeshift crate-on-wheels trolley that you can hire for R10 when entering the market.
If you like playing chess, go to the pancake station, where you can enjoy a game while waiting in the queue. If you like playing with dolls, find the lady who still makes those tiny clothes for Barbie and Ken herself. If you like playing music, jam along with the students who have made one stall theirs, singing for donations. If you like playing hide and seek, go with your brother.
The Boeremark is open every Saturday from 7:30am-2pm in Langenhoven Park.