By the end of this week, I will have been in Bloemfontein for the best part of a month. I have enjoyed it. Socially it has been a very quiet time for me, which has been good, recovering from the pace of my final days in JHB and the month I spent in Cape Town.
But I have also found out some interesting and sometimes strange things about Bloemfonteiners!
1. Bloemers Speed
Apparently 60kmh is for losers in Bloemfontein. Everyone appears to go everywhere at at least 80kmh, especially in small suburban roads. On the main, double lane roads, everyone wants to go 120, even if the speed limit it 60!
This means if you are doing 60kmh, maybe looking for your landmarks you have always got someone right up your tail pipe. Left hand lane don’t matter. You should be doing 80. It is like a flashback to Joburg in the 80’s and early 90’s!
2. Bloemers have no concept of personal space
I have never been out and touched by so many strangers in one night. Just having people walk right up to me and touch my arms and lift my short sleeves!
Yes, the tattoos. Seems everyone is fascinated. Which is fair enough. I don’t mind. But don’t just walk up to me and start basically disrobing me without even greeting me! I now feel some of what a woman feels like every time a stranger fondlers her arse or breasts. I feel demeaned. In a weird way.
3. Bloemers are deep
In one night out, I had 3 “Meaning of Life” conversations with 3 complete strangers based on our introductory sentences. These guys (all men) just leapt in at the deep end, sensing some signal in my responses or my attitude, that indicated we could go there. I think.
The nature of purpose, why I don’t believe in God and the meaning of life, all in about 90 minutes with 3 different people. Over tequila. Or something.
4. Bloemers like to drink
I think I remember this from my army days, but wow! Every new person presented me with a tequila. Friendly doesn’t quite cover it! Have had lots of fun, but my liver and kidneys did not enjoy Friday night out!
So the fact that, prior to this sojourn in Bloemfontein, I knew only one guy in the city, doesn’t matter. You just take your Prohep and go out. You will meet people. Interesting, cool people. People you can have a proper deep conversation with. You meet people in JHB as well, but you tend not to talk about the big stuff. Apparently that’s what you do hear. Or maybe it’s just me. I dunno! Anyone? An explanation please?
So, a month and three more days to go after today and I am out of here. I anticipate a good few more very interesting times!