I've finally rigged my new laptop up and I am online!
I'm sitting in Room 39 of John Kotze House, a "Res" in St. Mary's Hall. I'll be off to my first (introductory) Psychology lecture with Benjamin in a short while.
Let me start from the beginning.
On December 6th I missioned down to Plettenberg Bay with friends from high school for "Matric Rage". After a week of club-hopping, beach-dropping and way too much estrogen in one house, Benjamin (Benjamin is my boyfriend, Eva and Eric, we have been dating since April and he is also studying at Rhodes. We'll get to that later.) came to pick me up after a long, loaded and lonely drive down from Johannesburg.
Benjamin and I drove to my dad's farm in Oubos, in the Tsitsikamma. After spending the night and sampling my dad's amazing clay oven cooking for the first time, we got back into the car and started our working holiday (emphasis on holiday) at Alje, a cheesemaker in the Tsitsikamma and a very dear friend of my mom and dad, and his cheese farm and restaurant.
After spending a month making tomato and mozzarella salads, sampling too many leftovers, mixing lemonade and packing green salad masterpieces, we were off again on January 8th. We had spent New Year's Eve looking at the full moon (which incidentally, was a blue moon) and sipping champagne. This time, we were off to begin our seaside holiday at Ben's great aunt's house in Eersterivier, a little seaside village ten minutes from Charl and Helena's farm. We spent three weeks here, and we savoured every moment of it. Benjamin liked walks down the beach and kite-flying, and I loved reading the most. I ripped the soft, delicious meat off every book I had brought down to Rhodes for the whole year.
On January 31st, we said a farewell to the seaside with the appropriate concoction of sadness, apprehension and excitement. We started our (approximately) 3-4 hour drive up to Grahamstown. We stopped in the middle somewhere, a blank spot on the map (which is no small feat), to meet up with my mother and to be introduced to her friends Estelle and Werner, who have been appointed to me and Benjamin as parents-away-from-home.
Registration and moving into Res was a wild, scary, exhilarating blur. My room is pleasantly large, and I have a bookcase, a desk, a comfy chair, a really comfy bed, a washbasin and an impressive "tallboy", which is a chest of drawers topped with little boxes of assorted sizes in which miscellaneous goods belong. And a mirror. Benjamin got allocated to the Res of his choice, Guy Butler House.
There are no initiation practices at Rhodes, but first-year Rhodents have to spend O-Week (Orientation Week) being boomed and bashed and clanged awake at any time between four and six in the morning, when a boys' Res comes to stand on their doorstep and serenade them with a catchy, sometimes suggestive but either absolutely hilarious or sickeningly mushy (and thus awwww-inducing in JK House) every single time. The girls then reply with their own spunky, sexy song (which ranges from amorous to avaricious) and the boys are left outside to pick a slipper from a big pile on the steps. He then enters to common room and looks for the girl belonging to the slipper fate has ordained him, and gets to know her (Name, origin, area of study, and one other answer to a question that changes from serenade to serenade) and has to introduce her to the room full of Rhodents and, in turn, is introduced by her. If there is time, they are also served coffee by the girls for walking through Grahamstown in their underpants or boxers, and formal shirts, blazers and ties.
Activities range from introductory to fun to incredibly stupor-inducing. Today was my first day of introductory lectures. I have attended a lecture on Career Building in the 21st Century, for which I walked all the way around town for and, amazingly did not get lost finding.
I need to finish this submission now, because Benjamin will be arriving on his horse any minute now, ready to sweep me off my feet and off to our Psychology lecture.
I miss you all incredibly.