The Student Bonus

I’m not going to lie and say how thoroughly I’ve enjoyed studying again, because I haven’t. Honours is a heavy workload and a lot of stress (because, yes, I'm a student who actually works). But today I did get to enjoy one of the benefits of not being a corporate wage slave trapped inside an air-conditioned office. Today was a beautiful day, so, once I got home from university, I spent my afternoon in my bikini outside in the sun reading about, of all things, Apartheid era black oppression.

Anyway, the weekend was a good one. On Friday evening, Paul and I missed Shirley’s Red Eye do (and some apparently very drunken shenanigans at Tiger Tiger) to join my family for dinner. It was mother’s birthday so we all headed up to John Dory’s in Kloof to enjoy their current series of prawn specials. Paul and I both had the rack of ribs / 8 prawns combo.

But beware John Dory’s. They’re pretty stingy, Their Coke is that horrible water-syrup mix, and all that my mother received for her birthday was a sparkler. The dessert wasn’t even free.

On Saturday I was woken up at 5am, to head up to Kloof (yet again) for the day’s planned outing- a steam train ride up to Nottingham Road (they also do shorter trips up to Ichanga for picnics at the end of every month, which would be a fun outing for anyone interested). Of course, being up that early made me wonder who I could pester at that ungodly hour. Considering I actually owed Ian some communication, he was the lucky recipient of my SMSes. It really was great hearing from again.

Anyway, after the train trip, in those old restored brown carriages, I’ve decided that the best way to travel sight-see is the train. The scenery up past Hillcrest, and Ichanga, and Cato Ridge, and Pietermaritzburg, and Hilton, and Howick, is completely different from the railway line than it is from a car. Plus, trains are a lot more comfortable (I nodded off a few times). And the weird thing is that people are so friendly. Everyone was waving at us with big smiles on their faces.

When we got up to Nottingham Road station, we were bussed to the Vintage Steam Fair. At the first sight of the crowds oohing and aahing over tractors, I started bracing myself for a few hours of boredom. But then I spotted the flea market, and the several second-hand book stalls improved my mood. Apart from the Hospice and SPCA bookshops, where else can you spend R60 and walk away with 6 books?

After we’d had some lunch we stumbled across an archery demonstration behind the big tent. Paul and I ended up having some proper instruction, as well as an archery contest. It really is an awesome sport. I would seriously like to look into joining a club to take it up socially, although I think the initial downlay for equipment is a bit expensive. Plus, by that evening, I had nice heroin addict bruises all down my left forearm from where the string grazed my arm on release.

We ended up back in Kloof again just before 7pm, by which time Paul and I were exhausted. All we could do was eat some dinner and wash the soot out of our hair (we’d been dangling our heads out the window pretty much the entire journey) before being unconscious in bed by 10:30. When I’ve got time, I’ll upload some photos from the day.

On Sunday we were still programmed to get up early, and, given that it was a sunny (although a bit windy) day we decided to throw an impromptu braai at Paul’s place. Mark, Gareth, G and Shirley were there are it was a very relaxing afternoon. Only G swam, but there was much amusement in hearing about Shirley’s suspiciously orgasmic-sounding hangover groans, more World of Warcraft bragging, and Gareth making up for lost time with public displays of affection with Tonsils… I mean Denbeigh, who, jokes aside, is apparently a really cool person ;P.

We also ended up watching Team America for something like the 8th time (what a great idea for a Burn Halloween outfit), and as we starting watching Zoolander, everyone had to bugger off home. Later on, Paul and I plugged in our game pads, and played the poor man’s Word of Warcraft- the old arcade favourite Golden Axe.

And that was pretty the weekend. Now I have to work my ass off and get an essay finished by Friday because I know I won’t do much on the weekend, and it’s due on Monday.

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