One positive thing about lockdown, is that it gave us time. For some people way too much time! We had time to do many things we normally would not do.
I often went back in memory lane(s). It was good to relive many good times. In this period, I also saw many friends form university days on Facebook. That brought back many memories.
Dagbreek was my home away from home for 6 years of my life. As I said elsewhere, I was born a loner. That did not change because I was in Dagbreek with more than 200 other people! I count like a chicken 1, 2, 3 too many! But I do have fun and enjoy life.
Now I am writing about more than 40 years ago. Times were different. I cringe when I think of some of the things we did. But then it was fine, and we enjoyed it. Those days first years were still initiated.
And just to get you thinking, here is another quote:
We all pay for life with death, so everything in between should be free.
– Bill Hicks
I remember entering Dagbreek for the first time on a hot morning in January. Blazer and tie. My life in two suitcases. There was one guy worse off than me. He was standing on his suitcase. His hair was long. In those days, in a predominantly Afrikaans environment, that was a no-no. His hair was tied in ponytails with toilet paper and he had to do a solo singing performance.
And so life in Dagbreek started.
One house meeting a term. The first meeting we sat on bricks. If they did that today, they would have all the anti-animal cruelty organizations and a few more on them. We survived and I am glad for the experience. Although the next day or two after that event, my bum was not!
There was a motion that the bricks are awfully bad for us, we should rather sit on Coke cans. The motion was rejected. The argument that canned the motion was: “If we ran down Victoria Street without pants after the meeting, our bums would be imprinted with ‘Keep South Africa Clean.’ That is unacceptable,” so we sat on bricks for hours. And we just did it!
The creativity of house meetings was amazing. One of the kitchen personnel was a magician. She made the meat “disappear.” Now we used to say we do not mind horse meat, but they should unsaddle the meat first! A self-appointed committee “investigated” the issue of “disappearing meat.” Based on their thorough studies and scientific research, they found that the lack of meat caused an iron deficiency which gave rise to an unusual number of broken arms and legs (the beginning of rugby season). If there is a victim, you need somebody to blame. If there is a deficiency, there must be somebody with an oversupply. It is easy to recognize an oversupply of iron – it is rust. It shows itself in red hair. Which made one of the matrons and the committee member responsible for the kitchen the culprits!
I love water. That is a fact. I am embarrassed to think how we wasted water. Waterbombs galore. Then my roommate and I built a catty between two pillars on the fourth-floor balcony. He was a lot shorter than I, so I was responsible for distance, he “took care of direction and elevation.” We became quite accurate, being able to bomb the Eiffel center during “target practice” after lunch and dinner. If somebody was siting or walking under the Eiffel, it was a bonus! One Saturday evening we managed to shoot an orange clear out of the park. And we did search for it, high and low.
Let me close with a last story. We were four in two bedrooms on the fourth floor. We overlooked the tennis courts. We lived there for two years and in those two years I discovered there is difference between good tennis and pretty tennis and it is not always the same thing.
Just below that corner of Dagbreek were two practice walls. Using the walls was forbidden before 17h00 on weekdays. Break the rule and expect water bombs. The sound of the ball reverberated and made any other activity difficult.
One day a clever guy used the wall before 17h00. He got a water bomb. He then came looking for the man who bombed him. Found one of my roommates. Very upset he asked Kobus: “Do you know who I am? I am So-and-So. I am on the student council.” Kobus answered: “Good, that means you can read. And you should set the example.” With Mr SC sulked away. He is still in politics.”
TO THE GOOD TIMES
But as always, when I recall the stories and incidents, it is not the stories as such, it is the people involved. This post is in remembrance to the people who made my 6 years in Dagbreek memorable. There are many.
And a special thought to good friends who have passed away – because I have entered that phase of my life, too.
And a special thought to a special man who made extra special memories:
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