Worn and Tattered Travel Journals: Stellenbosch

by Kate Slenzak

After a quick dive into the archives (read: worn and tattered travel journals) I give you, a tale from my first night in Stellenbosch, uncut and mildly edited because spelling isOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA hard, ya know and drunk journaling is apparently a thing I do…. After being dropped off at the doors of our residence complex and being essentially told to figure it out (mind you it is like 8:30 PM and there is no one in sight who might be able to help) we managed to find our rooms. We quickly dropped our things, ate some pizza (obviously the most important part of the night) and met back up to head out for our first night on the town. Three lovely Americans, still slightly jet-lagged, definitely disoriented and confused, headed out for an exciting Tuesday night in Stellenbosch, South Africa. With very little knowledge of where exactly we were going, we randomly chose a direction to head and eventually found someone who took sympathy on our clearly lost souls:

C: Hey, we aren’t from here…

Stranger: Yeah I can tell, what are you looking for?

(Side note, how the hell did this guy know we were foreigners. Must have been my damn baby face.)

C: A bar or somewhere to just grab a drink.

Stranger: You’re looking for a place where all the young kids go… Bohemia is right down the street about two blocks.

BINGO! Former students had told me about this place, cheap drinks, awesome pizza and a chill atmosphere was expected. We headed into the darkness and came across the holy land– BOHEMIA. As we walked in I decided that I was definitely not cool enough to be there. Such grunge, much rock, so roll. Hello hot bar tender… I ordered a nice box of rosé and we took a seat. While awkwardly swaying back and forth on my much too tall bar stool and making small talk, I got unexpectedly drunk… oops. I am going to blame it on the fact that I was (possibly) still jet-lagged and ignore the fact that I am actually a terrible light-weight, which isn’t actually a bad thing and actually just makes me a cheap date, so take that society. We decided to leave after finishing our drinks and as we started to descend down the stairs I WIPED OUT. I am not talking just a slip down one step and I catch myself, no. I fell down a whole flight of stairs on my ass. Welcome to Stellenbosch, you drunk bitch! I can honestly say that, no, I was not that drunk. Literally 2 minutes before we got up to leave I watched a server drop a beer down the stairs. To which I responded by thinking to myself, “huh, better be careful when we leave, wouldn’t want to slip down those stairs.” I wasn’t careful, and instead ended up with an outfit covered in bar scum and a laughing table of onlookers at the bottom. Cute. After laughing it off to hide the pain (the bruises stayed on my butt for a good two weeks), we headed back to our housing complex. Ready for a night of settling in, we were halfway back when we hear a harmonica…. And singing… is that Afrikaans?



Out of nowhere a group of three half-dressed men rush over to us and begin to ask us where we are from.

Bro #1: Would you like to come in for a drink?

Me: Why are you not wearing shirts, I feel overdressed?

Bro #2: Oh we have an Olympic size swimming pool in the back.

Me: Fair enough.

And the three of us lovely young ladies head into a strange house with a bunch of bros. No worries though, it looks like a frat house so clearly I’m right at home. We head out to the backyard and find around 15 people rocking out to Miley Cyrus and surrounding a kiddie pool. Not going to lie, I thought it was hilarious. One drink lead to another and all of a sudden I find myself having the bar scum washed off of my upper thigh by Bro #2 while I ask Bro #1 if he knows what I mean when I say “white privilege.” Is this real life? They all head out to the club (in their swim trunks) and we head back to our apartments for a drunken slumber. Welcome to Stellies ladies, stay classy America!

Photo credit: https://flic.kr/p/8RivUD


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