It began, as most sagas do, in my youth. The part before the mis-spent part and shortly after the emo part. It was, in fact, the 90s in South Africa. It was a time of new ideas and radical changes.
I was finally allowed to drink coffee. I had been brought up not being allowed coffee until I was 16 - that way I would surely grow tall and lissom. Instead seeing as how I was stubbornly headed to the short and dumpy side of the scale, my mother caved and that is how I got through the tedium of high school.
In the mid to late 90s there were three types of coffee in South Africa. Filter, Instant and Cappuccino. If you were daring you added hot milk and brown sugar to your coffee. I was.
After two years of a two cup a day habit, I went to university. Late nights, alcohol, loud music, no parental supervision and BOTTOMLESS coffee. Oh how we lived!
I met some lovely new friends and re-acquainted myself with some old friends and we became the Res Rats. (Fast forward 10 years and we are still all in touch, I am married to one of the studs, my bestie is dating one of the other studs and the other two are both happily married to interlopers)
We became regulars at the local restaurant that served said miraculous coffee. It was the only thing we could regularly afford as a night out - one large serve of chips to share between the six of us and enough coffee to keep a small town awake for a week.
The coffee was never good and we never cared, unless we got the dregs - blegh! Coffee became the social lubricant of choice, it was what fuelled many UNO arguments and helped hatch many practical jokes... Can any one recall the cobwebbing of Stud2's room in 2000? Or the beaching of Stud3's room? And the consequent moaning by the Studs that they couldn't retaliate due to the No Unaccompanied Gentleman Caller rule at Viljoenhof? Although I do recall a rather nasty trick played on us involving various beloved stuffed animals.
And that is, as they say, history. Graduations, weddings, immigration, gap years, weddings, immigration and babies all followed and yet I know that we all hold fond memories of various coffee shops, carts and chats.
And we would love to catch up over a coffee to chat about the last 10 years.