Monday, July 27, 2009
mampoer, potjie & die engelse vrou
Drove through to the Vaal on Saturday morning. Moogs and E3 have now pronounced the spare room I use there, as my own.
At his family’s house on the river – I have my own ‘Joey Room.’ Either it’s very sad, or I am their number one guest – either way, bless.
A bunch of us then hit the Potjie & Mampoer Festival at Stonehaven.
Sweet baby Jesus.
You know it’s going to be an insane day when you pull into the parking lot, cylinders firing, the windows down and blaring the likes of black hip hop.
Brandewyn and coke will make you do brave things like that, even if it is evidently rather retarded.
The moment we arrived, to a smorgasbord of synthetic fabric, platinum streak jobs, mampoer, (70% alcohol. Which means you combust the moment it hits your lips), units with big tough stickers, children dancing provocatively and doing their thing by their cookie on stage – serial - and lots of Worsie Visser music, potjiekos, and ‘Jannie Kas’.
That’s Johnny Cash to the rest of us.
And some dude pretending to be Mr Bean. It was surreal. It was insane as far as cultural experiences are concerned.
Anyone who owned a 4x4 bakkie stood a chance of winning a bull bar as a prize. There were queues, in two-tone, to win a bull bar. Second prize was a nudge bar for the side.
So that’s what we were dealing with here, just to give you a picture of how out of place we were.
In order to feel more accepted and forgivably touristy, I got into character and became ‘that Engelse woman.’
I’ve done it before in Lydenberg, and it worked a treat, being an ignorant but very enthusiastic Brit bird, and they loved me, you see. More than say, being just an English South African girl with a very very very amazing handbag.
‘Hi, so what’s this then?’
‘Mampoer, you wanna try it?’
‘Ooh that sounds daaaaahling, can I buy this at the S’affrican shop in Wimbledon, bruv?’
After one shot – one – suddenly, something very scary happened. Between the conversation and the moment of ingestation, I suddenly found myself on a stage in front of about 400 people.
I’m not sure how I got up there, or what I was meant to be doing up there, but it seemed, after the full realisation had hit me, (‘Holy. Suffering. Fuck. Why am I up here?’) I knew I had better keep up the Brit character, and I’d better do it good.
I was suddenly one of the volunteers, it appeared, for a live Mampoer Drinking Down Down Competition.
‘Oh dearie may….I don’t really know what to do here, innit!’ I say onto the microphone, and while all the other people on stage – being super friendly mind you – kindly explained to me that allSouth Africans drink mampoer all the time and that I must just follow what they do.
Meanwhile my friends are somewhere in the audience, wondering how the fuck I had got up there. (Still not sure myself. Must’ve got caught up in the excitement of siphoning blazing hot alcohol-saturated mampoer that would burn my oesophagus all the way down, as pleasant as that sounds).
‘You is from the United Kingdom. I are going to haff to punish you. You can keep your shooter glass afterward as a prize.’
‘Oooh,’ why thank you very much! What do I do?’ By now I’m concentrating super hard on my chavvy English accent, whilst talking into the microphone, and while I have to repeat something like this, in character: ‘Innie bos mampoer fees naby Stonehaven’ or some such. Which came out like this:
‘In knee bowce….mam po fierce… like a lion! Nah bay Stonehaven!’ And the crowd went wild.
Good lord, was this even happening?
After that was done, the press cornered me, and took a picture and my details, which went something like this: ‘Beatrix Clemence, UK, flew in from Dorset for the weekend for the Mampoer Festival.’
WTF. Beatrix? Apparently my character thought it was a very English name.
Meanwhile another mate was running around pretending he was a News24 reporter taking random pictures of everyone he saw with his wide angle lens. Even the various ‘pop singers’ on stage. Sometimes he’d take them through his jersey.
We got, as they say in the hinterland, completely besfokking vrot
Me and a mate got our faces painted. We stood – apparently – as its hazy – in a queue full of kids and I asked for a bloody butterfly, and she got flowers and teardrops and shit painted all over hers. And they also sprayed our hair with lumo spraypaint.
And that’s how we walked around. Me, with a pink wingspan on my face, and she with green shit smeared down the side of hers.
Then I passed out in a chair outside where everyone was watching rugby. My mate said that everyone who walked passed said something like, ‘These British people just can’t handle real alcohol...ag shame…what’s that on her face?’
I haven’t ‘taken a nap’ during a crazy drunk day in years. I felt like I was 17 again. Make that 7, with the painted party face.