FOOKED IN A FIELD

There is a music festival in South Africa called Oppikoppi. It’s of the same quality (can you use the word quality to describe a music festival?) as the Reading festival in England. I have attended both, and both experiences have been a murky blur. I thoroughly enjoyed it though. My festival virginity was claimed by Oppikoppi. You always remember your first. Apparently.

PHASE 1: DECISION MAKING AND TRAIN CATCHING: It was the day before the festival when my friend, Sam, and I came up with the brilliant plan to attend. Take into consideration that MOST people plan their trip weeks if not months in advance. Its 4 days of slumming it and you would usually take provisions with, like camping gear. Nope, not us. We stuffed a few items into our backpacks and raced down to the train station for the train that was leaving in less than an hour. Being a small town, we made it in time to the station, got our tickets and plonked our very excited butts in our seats. Oppikoppi, watch out!! PHASE 1: SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED.

PHASE 2: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION:  Where EXACTLY was Oppikoppi…………………………………………..? That’s right folks. We had no idea in which direction to go once we got to Johannesburg. I HEARD that it was in Potchefstroom, but on chatting to some people on the train, it was confirmed that it was NOT where I thought it was. This was the 90’s. No laptops or smartphones to whip out and Google. We were screwed. Luckily the people we spoke to gave us a sort of bearing to follow, so we were going on that. On arrival at Johannesburg station, which is not precisely the safest place to look like lost tourists, we woman up and make our way to the mini-bus taxi rank (dodgy!!) to get a mini-bus taxi to the next town, where supposedly it was just a short walk to the festival. It’s early afternoon by the time we arrive at our (supposed) Nirvana. With new fervor, we start asking around as to where the festival was taking place. We weren’t expecting the answer we got. “No Oppikoppi here”! So once again we get pointed on a new course.

This new route leads us to a highway of sorts OUT of town!! This is starting to look like the beginning of one of those “Wrong Turn” movies. Fortunately I am writing this and not hanging from a butchers hook in someone’s garage. Sam and I start walking. We plan to hitchhike, but if we don’t get a ride we can just walk. It can’t be that far right? I suppose being two chicks we were lucky in getting a ride fairly quickly. Our knight in shining armour turned out to be a cop who was on his way to the festival. Now what happens at the entrance of Oppikoppi is that people get searched for drugs (!!!!!) before entering the grounds. But because we were “with” the cop, we got to by-pass all the formalities. It would have been perfect if we WERE pushers. We weren’t. So now Oppikoppi is within sniffing distance. PHASE 2: SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED.

PHASE 3: SURVIVING:  WE MADE IT!! We are on haloed ground. Alive. Everyone around us are setting up camp, preparing for the long haul. We have no tent, no sleeping bags…nothing. We are just going to wing it. Who needs sleep or food at a festival anyway? Little did we know how ARCTIC it gets out in the bush at night. Profuse amounts of alchohol couldn’t numb the crippling cold. Our first night we caught a bit of sleep huddled up under a tree with a potato sack that we found. Rock and Roll. At first light and some weak sun shining through, some people were starting fires and we sidled over to defrost. We got offered beer at 5am in the morning. We made our first friends. Our 3-some under a tree with the potato sack was quickly forgotten. It’s great to be young.

By 10 am we were high on acid. Breakfast of kings. The day was made up of psychedelic awesomeness. Except for the bit of paranoia I experienced where I thought everyone was talking about me! But fortunately for my togetherness, I knew it was just the LSD, so I found it rather droll. Another thing about A is that it takes forever to wear off. I was exhausted and longed for my potato sack, but sleep evaded me. At this stage I had not seen one band play. The night is an uncertainty. The next day is pretty much the same. EXCEPT that I do get to see ONE band. Wonderful. The day of departure arrives. The site is a mess and the sight of us is even worse! Elated but a hot mess. Now to try and get back home. Let’s do exactly what we did to get there, just in reverse. Easy……. PHASE 3: SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED.

 

PHASE 4: GETTING HOME:  One would think that this is where our journey ends. In fact, NO. It’s not over yet. Packing up our few meager belonging, unused condoms. Yes, neither of us got laid. By choice I have to add. Not showering for a couple of days kinda kills the libido a bit. I digress…. Counting our coins, we discover that we do not have enough money for train tickets to get us back home. Shit. No bank cards, ID, nothing. Our beer soaked brains have to quickly come up with a solution. The plan was to get to Bloemfontein. Why there? Well for a few reasons. If we can get there, then its halfway home from where we currently are, and also the train tickets will be cheaper from there than from Johnanesburg. I also knew someone in Bloemfontein. I could then borrow some money and get us home. But first we need to get to there. It’s far, but home is even farther. We start our trek. First stop is to find a café and get some sort of hiking board that we can write “BLOEMFONTEIN” on. Once again, being chicks and Sam having extraordinarily large boobs, we manage to get a lift fairly quickly. Yay. Off we go. We arrive quite late in Bloemfontein; our lift-givers were rather nice people and offered us a place to stay for the night. Now I know what you are thinking. The start of another movie. But no, remember, this was the 90’s. People did that then. A bath and some decent sleep. Bliss.

The next morning, with new found pep, armed with a plan, we head off to go and find my friend the savior. We found him, but guess what, I was too proud to ask him for money. I just couldn’t do it. Lame right? I spinned some story that we were just passing through and I popped in to say hi. We left no richer and deflated. What now? I couldn’t ask for money off someone I knew, so the other plan was to ask strangers instead. Brilliant plan. Armed with Sam’s boobs and my smart mouth, we decided to approach men and not women for some quick cash. It wasn’t easy though. We walked around for about an hour mustering up the courage to approach our first dupe. But once we got going we were unstoppable. We couldn’t believe how easy it was. I can see why people make a career out of begging. Easily we reached our target (and some extra for essentials. Beer) and booked our tickets back home. We boarded the train that night and arrived back in Port Elizabeth the following morning. It felt like we travelled around the world. Well certainly from one point of South Africa to the other. PHASE 4: SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED.

 

A special mention must be made to the deep pockets Bloemfontein men. Our 5am fire and beer providers. The cop hitchhiker pickerupper. The one unknown band that I saw at Oppikoppi, Sam’s chest and especially to scratchy potato sack.

Advertisements

SHERLOCKED & LOADED

 

Year of the otter

The Chinese will have to re-invent their calendar to include the year of the otter. I’m not usually privy to celebrity craziness, but when it comes to British actors making good, I do sit up and take note. The combination of being an anglophile and suffering from FOMO (that’s Fear Of Missing Out), I too wanted a seat on the Cumber-bandwagon (see what I did there?). I’m uncertain as to how long I will stay on said wagon as my attention span of being fascinated by someone or something ranges between 1 to 2 months before I move on. This doesn’t bode well for relationships I tell you.

From only seeing him on the telly in Sherlock (and Smaug, which I didn’t know was him), to seeing his mug popping up all over the place and me going “hey, that’s Sherlock!”, on an all too regular basis, I wanted to see which other pies he had his lovely digits buried in. Thanks to Graham Norton, Top Gear and Wossy, that mouthful of a name anointed my ear cavities. My initial reaction was that Tuff-Titti Cumberbatch didn’t have a particularly whimsical ring to it, so sadly marriage was off the table. But apt that the word CUM formed part of his name. And at a push BATCH (rhymes with SNATCH). Probably grasping there. However, Benedict Cumberbatchs’ new sex-appeal status has somewhat ruined the whole Sherlock experience for me. Now I won’t be able to watch him play my favourite super sleuth cleverly solving crime without my mind wondering whether otters are into dress-up and reverse cowgirl?

Having a natural affinity with brains and not brawn, my instinct has always been to gravitate towards the eccentric. I revel in it. The brain is such a sexy thing. Except when it’s on a plate. So my love of a smart-mouthed quirk has endeared me to the Sherlock character. Not just Benedict, but also Robert Downey JR. Not so much Jonny Lee miller. In fact I didn’t relate to him in that role whatsoever. My favourite still remains Downey. I mean who doesn’t like a bad-boy right? He portrays a devilishly delicious and wicked character that could at any moment grab you by the hair, push you against the wall and snog the hell out of you. SWOON! Yet lurking there is this little boy with an owchie knee, and you just want to put a Bugs Bunny plaster on it. Which girl can resist administering a bit of nurture on such a badass. Downey is “faster” and funnier, almost hyperactive like a Jack Russell. You have to be on your toes to keep up with him. His quiet spells keeps you on the edge of your seat thinking, “what is he going to say/ do next?”. Its thrilling, exciting. Panty moistening.

Benedicts’ portrayal on the other hand has elevated my appreciation of the character to new heights. Marvellous and brilliant. Sharp and witty with more than a touch of caustic. What he lacks in the Downey bad-boy stakes, he more than makes up for by adding more dimension to the character. One might not immediately want to bump uglies with this Sherlock, but you would want to have a heated, sarcastic debate, slap him and THEN bump uglies. His sterling job on Sherlock makes me want to see his other work. I cannot make myself sit down and watch Star Trek though! Bleugh! But I look forward to seeing the man of the moment in his next projects. Hopefully in the next 2 months. Tick Tock.

I won’t be sending in my application form to become part of the Cumber-bitches, but I will appreciate talent when I see it. So for now I will just remain a cumbersome bitch instead.

Tata for now…

TT