You just cannot fight the chill, almost to the point that you would do anything to be warm. Thus I found my way out the office towards Vermeulen Street. I know there’s a lady who sells vetkoek on the street. A bit risky to me, who like things relatively planned and secure I decided to give it a go.
“Sorry, no vetkoek now, I have to make a new batch for you”. Her words almost agitated me, coz now I have to WAIT for my vetkoek. I had this all planned, dash out, get the vetkoek, dash back in. No problem! So I wait and started seeing things. Don’t worry, I did not see dead people, but I became aware of a different world within this city I work in every day. A world where people wave through the bus windows at their fellow city goers, a world where the metro cop are queuing with me, to get a vetkoek for only 1 bucks 50.
By this time Rose (the vetkoek lady) and I started talking about business, children (not that I have any, but tried to look very interested) and the cold. Yes, this is something we all share, the cold! Rose shared with me how she get up at 1:30am to take the bus at 3:00am to make it to the city. She must be ready you see, coz customers are already buying vetkoek from 5:00am. She speaks with pride on how vetkoek bought her children’s education, how vetkoek enabled her to live in a house and how her small little business are keeping her family afloat. Somehow I forgot about the cold and just imagined myself in her shoes. Unspeakable!
This round friendly lady sharing her life with me, in a vetkoek session. I have nothing, zero, zip in common with her, but I felt a strange fellowship and kin-ness with her. I walked back to the office thinking of Rose. She became Tannie Rose over this vetkoek session, she’s no stranger to me anymore. Tannie Rose became someone I could look up to, someone who lives the testimony of hard work is worth it. My heart is warm and the vetkoek tasted great! Tannie Rose gave me her world in a vetkoek, it’s SO different from the world I live in and I’m truly humbled. Surely didn’t know that a vetkoek can merge two worlds. My hunger, totally satisfied, but her hunger for life made my vetkoek taste spectacular!