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Octoberfest – South African Style

October has been a hectic time in Cape Town. The beginning of October brought my 21st birthday at Rocking the Daisies, a popular music festival outside of Cape Town. My friends and I drove to the festival on a Saturday, as I anxiously anticipated turning 21 at midnight. As Americans know, turning 21 is a huge deal, but even though I was excited for it, I was a bit sad that I would be spending it away from my friends back home. Thankfully, my interstudy friends made my 21st birthday wonderful. As the clock struck midnight, I was surrounded hundreds of people in the Red Bull Tent.

Surprisingly, South Africans appreciate the significance of a 21st birthday, even though their drinking age is 18. Somehow, word quickly spread through the crowd that it was my birthday (maybe it was the fact I was wearing a birthday hat made for a five-year-old boy?), and random South Africans came up to me throughout the night to wish me a great birthday. I was surprised how friendly and excited they were, and their enthusiasm made my birthday extra special. I mean, how many people are able to spend their 21st in Africa at one of the largest music festivals offered?

Having conquered a 21st birthday, up next is Halloween. But brace yourself, South Africans do not celebrate Halloween. So it will be up to interstudy and the rest of Americans in Cape Town to ring in Halloween in style. Halloween also signals the end of classes in Cape Town. For most, this is the last week of classes, until finals start in November.

Last weekend, interstudy hosted its farewell dinner for us, which reminded everyone that our time in Cape Town is drawing to a close. A month from tomorrow, I’ll be back in “Amurica” as we Southerners say. Even though I miss my home, my friends, and my family, it seems odd to be permanently leaving my new home in Cape Town. I feel like I’m planning to go home for winter break but that I will return to Cape Town after a few weeks. For my last month, I plan to really soak up Cape Town and try to go on as many adventures as possible, since I am unsure as to when I will be able to return again. Appreciating Cape Town and Africa in general means listening to “Waka Waka” and “Wavin’ Flag” on repeat, so future interstudy UCT students, start memorizing the lyrics and Shakira’s dance.

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