Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag Eerste dagen in Stellenbosch
4 maart 2014
Eerste dagen in Stellenbosch
Sunday, january 19th I departed from Schiphol Airport to go study at Stellenbosch University for 6 months. The first culture shock happened to me on the plane. Not with the African culture though. I was talking to this nice lady from New York on the plane, and when I told her that I studied philosophy, she immidiately replied: 'Oh, so you're gonna be a lawyer then'. I thought she misunderstood me, but appearantly, American philosophy students DO have the possibility to get a job: They become lawyers. The rest of the trip went smooth and I arrived in Stellenbosch the next day at around 4 pm.
A guy from the International Office picked me and a few other international students up and brought us to Stellenbosch. We asked him some stuff about Stellenbosch and South-Africa and he told us all we needed to know. Beer is about as cheap as it is at home, cars don't pay any attiontion to bikes whatsoever and South Africans don't believe in evolution. I thought he was joking, but no, he said evolution was total bullcrap.. Not wanting to be the smartass foreign kid right away and still needing a ride home from him I didn't put up much of discussion. Who would've thought my first almost fight with a local wouldn't be about a black joke. No he actually quite enjoyed them (sorry mom).
After a 30 minute ride I arrived at our temporary accomodation. Our house is still being built and isn't done until march, but this will do just fine for now. It's got a huge backyard and it's literally 20 meters away from the rugbyfield. I met the guy living in the room next to me and soon found out he had a Russell and Hobb(e)s fan. I pointed it out, he laughed and said: yeah, but atleast it works. I don't think he was talking about philosophers not being able to get a job and was just referring to it being a shitty brand, but it was still pretty funny. He looked at me weird for laughing so hard but I was too tired to bother explaining it to him and we just had a beer instead.
I had arranged for my roommates to throw me a housewarming braai. A braai is different from a barbecue in a few aspects. Where we heat up the BBQ, throw as much meat on it as possibly fits, stuff it all down your throat and start drinking beer until you drop, they do the opposite here. They start a fire and let it burn for a few hours until it's just smoldering pieces of wood and then put on one piece of meat at the time. They also seem to think 1 beer an hour is an acceptable beerdrinking tempo. It really takes a lot of patience and discipline but it was worth it. The meat tasted awesome and I had a great time.
The day starts early in South Africa. Everybody in the house woke up between 6 and 7. I tried to keep sleeping but it was way too hot anyway so I woke up 15 minutes later. I have this silly plan to go for a run every morning, and there's a creek up in the mountains which is just a 5 minute run, so I figured that'd be good enough for the first day. Boy was I wrong. It was so incredibly hot (and early) that I had trouble even getting there. On the way back I just walked.
Appearantly 'furnished' over here means you just get a bed and a fridge. Even though that's pretty much all I need, we went shopping for a bit to get me some bedding, cutlery and a fan. Ockert showed me around Stellenbosch for the good and cheap places to shop and Jaco (another roommate) was kind enough to pick us up with his car when we were done. Btw, I forgot who bought me the sunblock for my afscheidsfeestje, but you're a fucking genius.
After chilling in the sun for a few hours it was time to get some beers for tonight. Johannes and Nim (dutch student I met on the plane and a friend of his) came over for dinner. So being a dutch guy, we took the bike. On the way there every local was looking at us as if we were doing something wrong, we didn't really know what it was but we figured it was because we kept forgetting to ride on the left side of the road. On the way back, they were even more astonished. Appearantly they hardly ever see someone riding a bike on the middle of the road, let alone have two people on one bike. How the hell we also managed to take 3 crates of beer with us on that one bike was just beyond them. One guy even started yelling and clapping his hands. We made plans to try and ride one bike with 4 people tomorrow, that would probably make the local newspaper.
Anyway, time for dinner. Of course we also didn't have any pans so we cooked rice in the one frying pan Ockert took with him, scooped it out, and then fried some boerewors. We had a few beers and Ockert and Gerrit (another temporary roommate) teached us some more Afrikaans. I'm getting the hang of it, in a few days I can probably understand it fluently and in a few weeks I'll try speaking some. We went to bed early since we orientation started at 8 am the next day and if I wanted to stick to my plan and go for a run I had to wake up around 6.30.
I dragged myself out of bed at 6:45 and ran to the creek. It was actually quite chilly still so I went for another round through the mountains. Got back, showered and headed for the university. The orientation is just with international students, of which about half are either dutch or German, a quarter American/Scandinavian and the rest are from other African countries. They gave us a bunch of information. Nothing too interesting but it was nice to meet some more people.
In the evening I went to see Erik (the other dutch guy I met on the plane). He lives in the 'Poolhouse', a villa with just international students. Actually almost everybody is dutch. I was also considering to stay in the poolhouse but I'm glad I didn't. They will probably have an awesome holiday, but I don't think they'll meet many locals and experience how South African live their lifes. The hostel Johannes and Nim are staying in is just around the corner so after Erik went to bed I joined them. Good times, lot of booze, and after a bit we went to check out some clubs. Don't really remember much so probably had a good time.
10 maart 2014 13:10 | Door: Céleste
Yay I'm a genius :)