01 April 2009

the hanover street muslim bakery: of simplicity and profundity

Sometimes simple things bring with them profound reminders.

A little girl at the church I attend sells bread every Sunday to raise money for a church program.

And to smell the bread, to tear into the still whole loaf...It brings back a flood of memories from my time living in South Africa.

In smelling the bread, I am transported back to this Muslim bakery on Hanover Street in Mayfair, Johannesburg. To walk by it was to be attacked by hunger pangs, as fans blew the fresh-baked air out into the street.

In tearing and eating the bread, I am transported back to the long, hilly walk home from church in Johannesburg. I am reminded of making the walk through Brixton and down to Auckland Park. In 2004, I would often walk home with a friend or two and we would occasionally stop and buy a loaf of bread with our combined money. Something like 5 rand would do the trick (50 cents today) and the two or three of us would share in the breaking of bread in a really authentic way. There were days when that was the only meal.

A simple loaf of homemade bread from a little American girl takes me on a tour of the Africa of my memories. Simplicity and profundity. Not so far apart.

No comments:

Post a Comment