By Deva Lee, Paula Gilbert and Kirsten Mawdsley
Armed with groupies, we have ceremonial predrinks and head out for what proves to be no small task.
We headed for Sportsbar, the hidden jewel on the hill, to get a legendary snake-bite, only to find it closed. Bummer.
We arrive at 10:30 and head for the bar. We spot the old local lady who is known for hanging around The Union trying to pick up students, usually unsuccessfully. The Union is famous for cheap drinks and the line for the girl’s bathroom is usually so long you spend your time adding to the graffiti. Without fail there will be people in bizarre outfits, Rhodents are big fans of themed parties.
The crowd: Bad dancers at their best.
The drink: R6 Tequila.
The music: Old school.
The song: “Scatman’s world” – always a winner.
The vibe: Drunken and jolly.
Why we love it: You can dance on the tables.
The road down to New Street is littered with singing hill people. Tip: bush-diving is hazardous to your health.
We walk downstairs, the best area to sit. While enjoying a quiet drink a strange man approaches the table. He greets the blondes first with a brief “shap”, and hangs around while a friend tactically ignores him. Time is short, our solution: down-downs!
The drink: Double spirit and mix for R10.
The music: Background grooves.
The vibe: Chilled.
Why we love it: You can have a chat without raising your voice, watch some sport or sink into the giant red couch.
The Old Gaol
We walk into the Gaol, so named because what are now backpackers rooms used to be jail cells. We settle in the indoor gallows and find we are the rowdiest people in the place. Why there is a mattress on one side of the room we will never know. A trip to the unisex bathrooms involves a walk across the stage, difficult when a band is playing.
The crowd: Usually art and drama students.
The drink: Russian monkeys – a shot with a kick for only R5.
The music: The playlist is open the public.
The vibe: Always a unique experience.
Why we love it: An environment where anyone can express themselves in just about any fashion; be it scoring, smoking hubbly or even bra-flinging (nice one Deva).
Running late, we head into EQ and after paying our R10 entrance we hit the dance floor hard. Laura and KB worship the disco ball. It’s hard to leave but Champs is calling our name.
The crowd: People amped for a good jam.
The drink: Black Label R7.80.
The music: Hip-hop and house.
Why we love it: Guys love it because they get to walk through the girls bathroom to get to theirs. G-town’s best DJs.
Champs Action Bar
A detour down a side road leads us to Champs, definitely the dodgiest establishment in G-town. We push past hairy locals to get to the bar for R3 sambuca, which we had in five different colours. Kirsten takes a sip of water complaining: “there are five cent coins at the bottom” until Paula informs her that she is drinking out of the tip jar. Oh dear. We suck at pool. Time to leave
The crowd: Rockers and stoners.
The drink: R3 sambuca.
The music: Hard rock.
The vibe: Dark but not dingy.
Why we love it: Pool is R2, the toilet paper two- ply. While peeing check out the cool poetry on the walls.
Slip Stream Sportsbar
A sports bar featuring pool, foozball and slot machines. Discover that it is closed so we head to Rat, passed some boys having a DMC (Deep and Meaningful Conversation): “I love you man”. Every night entails one of these. Tip: don’t DMC with philosophy students. We follow the smell of Mama Pam’s rolls to the Rat.
The Rat & Parrot
Watch the step at the front door, many a Rhodent has taken a dive. We fight to get to the bar. From the balcony we see a girl in a ball gown falling into the gutter. We decide it’s time to beat the Friar’s line.
The crowd: Packed.
The drink: Castle draught R10.50.
The vibe: Rowdy.
The Song: “Buttercup”.
Why we love it: You’re guaranteed to bump into people you know.
Warning: do not enter sober. We arrive at 2am, there isn’t a sober seat in the house. After one drink half the team mysteriously vanish, Paula and Laura jam until 3:45 when the bouncers ask die-hards to leave.
The crowd: Jocks and poppies.
The drink: Water; by this stage you need it.
The music: Commercial: some old some new.
The vibe: Drunk and disorderly.
Why we love it: Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight.