I just came back from the Gobabis show ground where the meat festival is taking place.
I had gone to sample some beef, but ended up having a kudu lunch! Kudu is a spiral-horned antelope found in the African bush. My kudu steak drenched in barbeque sauce with macaroni and vegetable salad was quite delicious.
This is the first day of the fair, and it promises to be pretty busy, judging by the lack of convenient parking space and the number of people milling all over.
The usual ingredients for a county fair are all there. Exhibition tents, inflatable advertisement dummies, music blaring from loud speakers, and the hot day with a clear sky. Yeah, and the rotund parents wearing ridiculous paper hats accompanied by children with painted faces, eating all sorts of dripping foods came today as well!
The main emphasis being cattle, there were numerous ‘braai’ stands. A ‘braai’ is Namibia’s equivalent of your barbeque. These stands filled the show ground with the aroma of properly roasted meat. Have you noticed that the aroma of roasting meat has a way of pushing up your savagery one degree higher, especially if you are hungry?
As you wait on queue to pay to get into the show, you find yourself having some cruel thoughts. Like, why the gate cash collector has to smile and say a few pleasant words to someone she recognizes, or why the person in front of you does not move to fill the miniature space created when the person in front of them moved a step forward. In your mind, you create a huge physical confrontation with these people involving crowds, the police and even an ambulance and a hero. You.
Or maybe it’s just me?
Anyway, after the lunch, we did a once over of the fair. There are numerous stands selling assorted goods. From Kalahari’s San people crafts to trucks equipped with intercooler and power steering. Between these two extremes, your imagination can pretty much run wild. Water pumps, apparel, animal products, bars and restaurants and even a gun shop selling hunting rifles.
Needless to say, the ‘braai’ stand owners were doing a roaring business. They had this satisfied look as they inspected their customers’ fill themselves up with meat. If you take your sight from your food for a while and look at them closely, you could see the invisible dollar signs etched into their eyes.
When leaving the fair, everyone is stamped with red ink on the wrist. The writing on the stamp reads ‘pass out’. This serves 2 purposes. It proves that you have already paid and don’t have to pay a second time, and reminds you what you should not do when you start drinking in the fair!