Wed 4 December 2013: 7 years 3 months on …
Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental: Deuce
I forgot to mention in my last blog that we had the benefit of not having cell phones in those days (1979).
So no-one could get hold of you unless you wanted to get hold of them … via the silver public telephone in the red and cream rondavel-styled phone box in the caravan park. (In the “public” booths on the pavements outside the park, you would also have to check whether the booth was signed for “WHITES ONLY” or “Non-Whites ONLY”.)
As Stellenbosch students, we had also perfected the “lang-tiekie” – a 20c piece that had a long string attached to it. You dropped the coin into the slot, made your call, and then removed the coin afterwards! Hence, a free call home just to inform the folks that you were still safe (and maybe just to ask them to deposit ten more rand into your bank account!)
As students, we managed a number of cons (written off as “onskuldige studente-pret”) (innocent student fun).
At the Beacon Isle Hotel, we would go and lie at the pool (for residents only!) and pretend we were booked in there. We would cuddle up to some other familes and pretend we were part of the group. Sometimes it worked and sometimes not.
I recall a middle-aged ( probably called her ‘elderly’ then) lady from Sandton. She wore a golden swimsuit and was dark bronze tanned with golden earrings dangling from her ears and a golden necklace around the neck. She never swam in the pool but just lay in the sun day after day – working on that bronze tan.
We pretended to her that we were guests and she chatted to us day after day. Then one day, the waiter asked us for our room number and when we gave a number that didn’t exist, we were hurriedly chased out from the hotel. Thereafter, she would have nothing to do with us!
Ha ha! Howard Sheard has just reminded me that his kid’s Rage this year has cost him more than his own entire academic and hostel stay as a student at Stellenbosch University!