Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Sobriety Test

Grahamstown is well known for many things, but the student drinking culture most likely tops the list of the most famous or infamous qualities this fair town. I am not embarrassed to say that I have taken part in these activities with great enthusiasm and fervour. I have met a number of people, could tell a hundred stories and I have had a great deal of laughs along the way. This has been, however, all under the influence of alcohol. Therefore, I decided that I would spend a night out in Grahamstown with no trace of alcohol in my system.

The thought of going out sober was a daunting one. This is because, and maybe it is a sad fact, but going out in sober in Grahamstown is a little difficult seeing as there are numerous students wondering New Street in a drunk and disorderly fashion. This factor is somewhat off putting, because inebriated people do not have the same interests as those who are sober. For example, dancing on the tables at Union might be appealing to those who have had a few; whereas those who haven’t had a drop may not be able to muster the confidence to showcase their dancing abilities to the Rhodes student body. The reason for this would be that one’s inhibitions slowly fall away with the consumption of alcohol and the ability to acknowledge one’s appearance and behaviour disappears. Therefore, finding common ground with those who had been drinking made me a little reluctant to go out at all.

However, I had promised a mate that we were going to go out, even if it was in a sober state of mind. So we downed our Bioplus sachets and headed out. One of the issues I was going to have with this night of no alcohol was the weather. The wind was ice cold as we wandered down to Union. This is often ignored due to alcohols capacity to warm the blood. However, all was not lost as a lift was soon acquired.
Union was empty and for now, Sammy and I weren’t quite prepared to make fools of ourselves on the dance floor. So we sat and waited for Steph to arrive from Aquatics AGM. It must be noted that by the time she arrived at Union, Steph had already had copious amounts of free punch; which would mean that Sammy and I were in for an evening of a lot of work and effort.

I expected the night to be a rough one with lots of drunk people falling all over the place, which it invariably was, but I didn’t expect the night to be enjoyable. Wandering the Grahamstown streets, hitching lifts and having a number of drunk conversations was surprisingly entertaining. I am glad I ended up staying true to my word by allowing myself to see the Grahamstown night life without the drunken haze.
However, this is an experience not to be taken lightly. If you are a keen partier like myself who enjoys a bit of drink to get started on a night out, a sober night could be a risky move. It’s only when all the planets are in alignment, the moon is full and blue and that pig across road did fly, that you will enjoy a night out as a sober cobra in Grahamstown. And that night for me was last night.

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