So here I am, about halfway through the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, and it is absolutely lovely. So nice, in fact, that I am almost loathe to take the time out to blog about it instead of, like, actually DOING more stuff.
I've been reasonably cultural and reasonably outdoors-ish, though I must admit that it's really nice to hang out at one of my favourite chill spots instead and see the flood of interesting people arrive. There's a high population of travellers and performers in Grahamstown at the moment: and lo, a few of them are even interesting to talk to! It's like being at a backpacker lodge all over again. Hell, I actually met one of the guys who was running the Amapondo hostel back in Port St Johns.
So yeah, cool and colourful people.
With regards to the performances so far: I've seen a few, and I've not been disappointed. In fact, if anybody is knocking around in Grahamstown right now and hasn't yet seen Alchemy of the Heart, try get seating for one of the shows. I enjoyed it quite a bit: maybe because it was the first show I saw. Either that, or I just have a thing for freaky masks.
So, with all the awesome stuff going on (and there is a LOT of awesome stuff), what should I choose to write about? Well, considering that my camera isn't allowed into most of the performance venues, I suppose it's safe to have a gander at town itself, as well as the Village Green market that occupies centre stage every year (haha, geddit?).
I'm not sure why I like the Village Green market. Maybe it's just the thought of being able to go outdoors and have access to food and glittery stuff. Perhaps it's just amusing to catch people that I usually see elsewhere, such as the famous Egg Hat Guy and El Rondo the stick juggler.
The market itself extends (somewhat less officially) to Grahamstown's streets -- a nirvana of beanies, cheap sunglasses and plastic toys are on sale for anybody who gets up in the morning and thinks, "Well, gee whiz, I REALLY need some beanies, cheap sunglasses and plastic thingums today!"
I suppose it's also important to note that during festival, you get apprehended by all sorts of random people who are NOT beggars. For example, troops of orange-clad, head-shaven individuals chanting the Hare Krishna mantra and playing drums at you. Then there's those esoteric sellers of smelly burny stuff (incense, I think it's called) who shove their hands into your face to prove that their product smells of lilies and lavender instead of, say, Strange Person's Hand.
It bears the question: if I'm interrupted and harassed by really interesting people, does that actually still count? It's like the culture in this town is so overwhelming that it actually presses itself upon your senses. Which is, oddly enough, actually kinda cool.
And how do I maximise my daily doing-ness? Why, with the help of Monster energy drinks, of course!
Seriously, look out for these orange-on-black cans. They are, without a doubt, the most delicious energy drinks I have ever come across. In fact, it's quite likely that they could invoke a relapse of the Great Caffeine Overdose of Autumn 2009. And taste awesome while they're doing it.
Anyway, I'm off to say and do more pretentious stuff. Catch y'all again after I next tear myself away from all the cool stuff to try and actually write about it.