Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Grahamstown - a blast


Not one to judge too harshly on the basis of my first visit and just one Saturday night (10pm to 4am) in the middle of the its biggest event of the year. But my quick & dirty conclusion is that Grahamstown is a blast. A blast from the past, that is.

The places that that I frequented with my brother-in-law* were full of drunken students, equal numbers of both sexes, mostly with a dress sense giving poor regard beyond basic functionality and warmth. Somehow I don’t quite think we were quite incognito on this visit. While we fitted in fine on the dress sense (lack of) and were probably up there with the best on the liquor front one does get to the stage where one cannot convince anyone that one is still an undergrad.

So while we had access to an overdraft and were using the proceeds of this to bash away at our livers with beer and j├Ągerbombs, others were counting out coins to ratchet up their drink quota, or unashamedly (and successfully) hitting on us for drinks.

It was fun, but nowhere else have I recently come across student hangouts that were as similar to my student days as Grahamstown’s are right now.  I am not sure what this means about the place.

Oh the festival, what festival?

*As an aside, my brother-in-law shares the same first name as me. What are the odds of 2 sisters marrying a guy with the same first name? It’s chaos at family get-togethers.

4 comments:

mike said...

Ah, Grahamstown.

I lasted a year and 3/4 in that place. Probably the most fun I've ever had, and the worst time I've ever had. 'The Rat & Parrot'. Oh yes. Glad you had a blast. Festival's great. I played in a band at fest in 2001/2 (can't quite remember.) Our name was MOUNT FLUFF. We claimed to have come from Denmark and just won some big music awards. When people paid money to hear us play (we could play Atomic Kitten's 'Looking back on when we first met...') their expectations and what what confronted them was somewhat different. We got drunk with a 10-foot stuffed pink panther and gave nobody their money back.

VallyP said...

Ah Grahamstown indeed!

One of my daughters lives there, so I'm there every year, but my last festival was around '98 when Just Ginger were the thing, and I remember feeling a bit like the proverbial sore thumb at a late night concert...one mum among all those kids...reminded me of my own student days in the UK, though, so judging from your experience too, maybe the message is that students are the same everywhere at any time..

PS Wit could you pass Wit the salt please.... ;-)) All my partner's friends seem to be called Cees...very confusing when I'm supposed to know who he's talking about just by the different inflection in his tone!

ATW said...

What I was trying to get at in some way that is (parts of)Grahamstown seem to be stuck in a time warp. Student hangouts that I have frequented in the last few years in CapeTown, Jhb,'Maritzburg and even Pretoria are have a different atmosphere to what I experienced as an undergrad, they have changed with the times. G'Town (yes the Rat & Parrot was one of the spots), with its thirsty poorly dressed students (a gang of them in workers overalls)easily took me back 10 yrs plus. Not saying it's a bad thing, just an observation.

ATW said...

Mike, Tried to google "mount fluff" with no avail. Pity you made no great impression on the world. A great tale nevertheless. Hope that the ruse at least sponsored your beer money for the duration of the festival.