Continental Drift

September 1, 2009

Smothered on Top of the Hill

Filed under: Uncategorized — unaleona @ 2:04 pm

What happens when you throw thousands of Afrikaaners into a dusty wasteland in the middle of nowhere full of thorn bushes with four stages and more than a hundred musical acts?

Oppikoppi!

(translation: on top of the hill)

Perhaps the closest I will ever come to Woodstock with an Afrikaans heavy metal twist, Oppikoppi was quite an adventure. The festival was celebrating its fifteenth anniversary, so obviously the theme this year was Smooverklief: Smothered in love. And all my fellow festival-goers seemed full of love: for each other, for me, and particularly for alcohol.

Luckily for me, the weekend of Oppikoppi coincided with the weekend two friends from home made it up to Joberg for a visit. Luckily for all three of us lost Americans, a South African friend of mine with a tent and a car decided it was finally the time in his life when he needed to experience Oppikoppi. The rest, as they say, is a history of wounds from angry thorns, getting lost trying to find our way home to our tent on the dusty lane of Freedom Avenue, and many hours of music of varying qualities. I ate my first biltong, which is South Africa’s ubiquitous form of beef jerky, and practiced my limited Afrikaans vocabulary. This came in particularly handy when an Afrikaaner girl came up to me and started petting my plastic lei I had bought at the supermarket and possibly asking if she could have it. When my ability to respond pretty much consisted of “thank you very much, sausage, cheers” she quickly got the idea that her pleas were falling on literally deaf ears.

Late at night, in the freezing dusty bush we found out that South Africans also believe in roasting marshmallows over campfires, but they have yet to discover the art of the ‘smore. At least we know that there is a distinctly, culturally American food after all.

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