How to get wrinkled good and ugly…
So last night after the Springboks finally made it to another World Cup Final, I arrived back at res at about 22h45, my mind set on going to bed, maybe watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy or something before falling asleep. Mondays is my off-days, I do laundry and all that kind of crap because it has to be done sometime.
Anyway, on our corridor I meet my friend Shaun du Toit and he makes the suggestion that we go and sit on the “klippe” outside and have a drink. The “klippe” (translated: rocks) refers to a few big rocks outside of our res which is like a common gather-around area where we sleep outside during rag-week at the beginning of each year and where first years are not allowed.
I thought: well, I do have a beer or so left in my fridge and it has to be drunk sometime, so we went outside. On our way, we passed our res’s roman bath, known as the “Orgbad” (literally ‘Orgy bath’ !) and we see that it has been filled up. Now that looked very promising, but at first we decide to leave the idea of getting in suspended for awhile. Some girls from the ladies res Asterhof came to sing for us, because it was the beginning of our pre-rag week (“zoep”-week) and they always do that kind of thing. Some of the second years joined us on the klippe and we sat there listening to the girls.
So after they were gone, we reconsidered the whole Orgbad-idea and decided to go for it. Now, as the water was already cold, we had to drain about half of it to make space for some hot water, the source being the shower pipes on the first floor, connected by a long black plastic pipe. While the water was pouring in, Shaun and I was walking all along the insides of the Orgbad to ensure the hot water mixing properly and quickly with the rest of the water.
Now, those of you who has seen it, knows that the Orgbad is a big thing. The record for the most people in it is 50-something (but that is not necessarily a safe way – people will drown!). So it takes up a LOT of water, might as well be close to 4000 liters.
And as things go, we started chatting and talking about our plans for next year and the prospect that we might end up living close to each other. The conversation went on to all sorts of subjects – the res, our dreams, rugby, our holiday plans, rugby, our studies, rugby, and some more rugby! Well, Shaun is a fitness and conditioning coach so obviously we were going to talk about sports and the like.
We chatted about our lives and where we grew up and common friends we had. We grew up during our primary school years in two towns not far from each other and I found out he lived on the same street as my cousins.
As we talked, the water got hotter and we decided to stop walking and started relaxing, floating around in the hot water. Then, one of the second years (or “semi’s ” as they are also known) and a third year came along and joined us. The third year, Gerrie, is the minister of internal and external affairs of the residence, meaning he is responsible for the clubhouse, meaning he has access to free booze that must be finished so that it won’t go to waste because all the socials for the rest of the year is finsihed. So he went to fetch us some six packs of Hunter’s Extreme to enjoy in the Orgbad. This must have been around 1 o’ clock or something. So the four of us sat and floated and drank and chatted and laughed and got out to pee and talked some more. We had such a great time! And although we were drinking the Hunters Extreme (which, by the way, is an alcoholic ENERGY drink, no wonder we stayed up so long), we were not drunk, because it was over a really long time and we were in the water pretty much all of the time.
A while later (at about three o’ clock), some of the girls came quietly (actually to bring us sweets!) and the semi, Rudi, mistook them for someone else and started to shout at them, calling down first years to catch the girls. Gerrie had to hurry to fix the situation, not to get the girls, trying to spoil us, upset too much.
But one first year came down, Graham Raper, and he sat with us at the Orgbad (he is not allowed to get INTO the Orgbad until his second year).
So we were a first (Graham), second (Rudi), third (Gerrie), fourth (Shaun) and fifth (Me) year, sitting there, having the time of our lives. The stories we told took on such extreme proportions that it got really ridiculous – pidgeons the size of turkeys, people getting tackled THROUGH a Weber Braai, and, and, and…
When we started to hear the birds chirping, we realized that this has been going on for a really long time, but no-one wants to be the first to give up and go to bed – typically male! So we lingered on and on and eventually, when the sun was long risen at half past seven this morning, we got up and out of the Orgbad, having had a legendary time. The water was sif and as we used up pretty much all the hot water of the entire res, we didn’t go to shower for we knew there would be no hot water – a nasty surprise for the other 210 people living there…!
But it was not over yet. The main reason for getting out was that we were starving to get something to eat. We weren’t up for the dining hall’s crap so we got onto my bakkie and went to Spur in Hatfield Square. We got there as soon as they opened and had to wait awhile before we got served the breakfast special – eggs, bacon, toast, coffee (as if we did not have enough caffeine already!!!), rashers and croissants.
Tired as we were, this has been so much fun.
It was not the fact that we drank an entire case of Hunters Extreme between 4 and a half people (Graham wasn’t there the whole time, remember), it was not the fact that we stayed up all night, it wasn’t the fact that we looked like Mother Theresa (according to Gerrie, refering to our bath-wrinkles!) that made it a remarkable experience. It was the fact that people from different backgrounds, from different ages, from different social standings, could just get together and enjoy each other’s company, laughing and talking the night away.
In “The Heart of Christianity” the author writes about “thin places” – places or moments in our lives where we experience God more intense than other places or moments. Looking back I realized that last night, wrinkled up as I was, I was experiencing a “thin place” – experiencing God through relationships with other people, with close and less close friends.
So, yeah, go out and have a few beers with your buddies, go throw some meat on a fire or grab some pizza and a movie, but go and LIVE a relation-full life (that is a word, I promise.), for vark-sakes!!
And seriously, how many times in your life do you REALLY stay up all night in water?