Old ladies taking drugs

In a time before COVID-19, there used to be the Free State Arts Festival, held in Bloemfontein where I used to live. It was always kind of underwhelming, but I’d always go because there wasn’t much else to do. I think I once saw two old ladies taking drugs there.

The story

There are always dozens of theatre productions to watch, and hundreds of stalls selling everything from tie die toilet seat covers to homemade strawberry jam (which is delicious, by the way).

At one of the many stalls, they were selling malva pudding. If you don’t know what it is, it’s a South African dessert that will most definitely give you diabetes if you’re not careful. At the same stall, you could also buy shots of different liquors and whatnot.

So, I was standing in the queue to buy said pudding, and there were two old ladies in front of me. They were buying two shots of who knows what. When it came time to pay, they heckled the guy behind the counter because apparently, the shots were too expensive.

The poor guy working there didn’t really know what to say except “I don’t make the prices.” Finally, the one woman handed the guy the money, saying, “Well, lucky for you, I need to take my pills.”

It’s funny, right?

That’s what I thought until I saw her taking a few steps away and then really taking pills out of her purse and then swallowing it down with the shot.

First of all, a shot does not have enough liquid to swallow down the load of medication I’m assuming that woman was on. Second, no one should ever drink their pills with alcohol.

However, when I thought about it for a while, I concluded that they were probably taking hard drugs. You know, considering all their giggling… Oh my word, what have I witnessed?

A tangent

Now, this brings up a whole other subject. I’m not judging those women, not at all. Good for them for having a good time. They have probably spent their whole lives pleasing their husbands and children, while their dreams were on the back burner (as you see with a lot of women that age in South Africa). Good for them for taking the time to ‘unwind’.

Old ladies taking drugs might seem funny, but when you think about it, it’s just sad. Honestly, is this what your life has come to? Taking drugs in broad daylight in South Africa’s notoriously most boring city? Seriously?


What’s the weirdest thing you have seen at a festival? I’d love to read about it in the comments.



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