New Year’s Eve in Cape Town

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Cape Town

For a while I had been thinking about where to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Dubai or Cape Town? I figured both would be amazing places to celebrate it. Dubai would be the most crazy show and Cape Town would be an amazing party. In the end I choose the party.

I had been in South Africa for more than a month and had agreed to go to a party with a girl, (whose name I will leave out) whom I had met on the backpacker bus. She was going with her Italian friend (I no longer remember her name, so she will go by the name Patatina) to a private party, and invited me to come.

Arriving at the party I immediately realized how everyone was dressed up nice (of course, it was New Year’s Eve after all) except me. I hadn’t felt so awkward in years. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I felt so misplaced. I was just standing there in my dirty hiking clothes (since that was all I had) looking like a pool of mud on a nice clean marble floor. I was like an exhaustion pipe amongst all the glamor. I felt, and looked like, a freshly dug up corpse, that had been dragged to the middle of Paris Hilton’s 21 year birthday. My shoes had crossed Spain, a 900km/550mi walk, climbed Kilimanjaro and partied all the way down the South African east coast. My t-shirt had been worn every second day for the last 6 months and had never been washed in a machine – always by hand. My pants were the only pair of pants I had, and had seen a fair bit of hiking. In other words, I was not in my party dress, mostly because I didn’t have any.

South Africa

There I stood, looking around, trying to look cool, while chucking down beer as fast as possible to travel somewhere else, mentally, as quickly as possible. I was way too sober to be alive in this place. Every now and then I would take a few steps around in the tiny garden, containing way too many people, in the hopes of hiding behind someone so no one could see me, or to find someone else who looked like me – yeah right! I was panicking and trying to do my best to fit in and look relaxed. As much as a blobfish fits naturally in with the Rockefellers.

After a while a brave guy started talking to me. It turned out it was the host, or the boyfriend/husband of the host. Or maybe he was just a friend of the host? I don’t remember. He had his own firm and apparently did quite good. Probably making more money a month than I had ever done in a year. There I was, without anything, in sharp contrast to the guests of this party. He was either hiding his contempt very well, or genuinely okay with me being there, even if it was awkward for him too.

Then I somehow started talking to an elder guy. The father of the other guy who I had just talked to. He also had his own company or was at the top of it, at this time I had already had a few beers and details escape me. But this wasn’t just an ordinary company. This guy’s company was sitting on the biggest portion of all the oil in Southern Africa!! And he was making these huge million (billion?) dollar deals as his day job.


As my intake of beers escalated I started to relax more and more and the conversations became increasingly more interesting. There was this one guy I talked to for a long time, and we covered everything there is to know about weed, ayahuasca, science, human psychology and aliens. And probably a bunch of other stuff.

Then we had to go, it was getting late and we had to go see the fireworks show at the waterfront. We found a taxi after a while, and normally it would be faster, but the streets of Cape Town were packed. There were so many people, from all corners of Southern Africa, in Cape Town that night, that Africa was about to tip over and plummet into the water.

Nevertheless, we did arrive in time to push through the huge crowd, at the Waterfront, who had also decided to see the big show. We found a good spot just in time, only (to our surprise) to see the most pathetic fireworks ever. The thing is, in Cape Town, and I assume the rest of South Africa, you are not allowed to shoot any fireworks on your own, so there is absolutely no fireworks except for that one show, which is basically just a few rockets, some disco light and music. Coming from Denmark, heck anywhere in Europe, this seemed absurd. A country rated in top ten of most crimes in the world, and fireworks is banned? Copenhagen city center is like a war zone at midnight. Pick any random Dane in Copenhagen, New Year’s Eve, and he will put up a greater show than what we saw at the waterfront.

But who cares anyway, we didn’t go to Cape Town for the fireworks, we were there for the party. So we took another taxi to go to a huge party near Long Street. The streets were full of cars and taxis, everyone trying to get somewhere else at the same time, which meant it was one big traffic jam.

On the way there, a couple on the street also came into our taxi, because they couldn’t find a free one. The Italian, Patatina, started arguing with the taxi driver about the price. (Because it was New Year’s Eve all the taxi drivers asked for much more than normally.) The argument became quite heated and the driver told her to get out of the car. She did so immediately, with contempt. My friend felt she had to follow Patatina, and when I was sitting there with 2 strangers, who looked quite confused about the whole situation, and no one had paid yet, I figured I had to follow my friend too.

South Africa

So back at the street, with no free taxis available, we found another one with only one passenger sitting in the front. So, we jumped in the back, and told the driver we were going to Long Street first, and then back to Patatina’s place, because she was done for the night.

Then suddenly the guy in the front seat, left the taxi. Just like that. He didn’t pay, he just left. When we were at Long Street my friend and I left the taxi, without paying, and said goodnight to Patatina. It seemed like a normal thing in Cape Town, at least at New Year’s Eve, that people just walked in and out of taxis randomly, and whoever happen to be in the taxi when it reaches the destination, would have to pay for the ride.

Unfortunately, the huge party was closed because it was full. We tried to persuade the security guards, but it didn’t work. Instead we just headed to the party street to get drunk and dance. We went from one club to the other and threw drink after drink in our face.

In the middle of the night I found myself dancing on this elevated dance floor, kinda like a small catwalk. The whole dance floor underneath was packed and so was the small elevated dance floor. I noticed, at some point, a black girl dancing very close to me and how she kept rubbing up against me, so I figured it couldn’t be a coincidence. I went along and we danced close for a while. Her butt was against my crotch all the time. When we started making out, I realized two things; first that I was too drunk, at this stage, to kiss anything without the risk of vomiting, second, that I had no clue who she was or what she looked like. It was dark and she had her back, or actually just her butt, against me all the time – even while we were making out, where she had just turned her head. At the same time my vision was blurry to the point of blindness. We started touching and groping a lot more, and even though everyone at the dance floor beneath us could see us, she still put her hand in my pants. At some point she yelled into my ear, “You’re drunk!” And I was thinking, “No shit!” but how did she know? Perhaps because “it” was lifeless. Who knows? I don’t remember what happened next, maybe I had to go puke, but I left with my friend, and at 4 am it all closed down. That was quite unexpected, and way too early for us.

Sometime in the early morning we were sitting at the side curb while drinking and talking. We still wanted to party, but it seemed to be over. I followed her back to her place and somehow we started making out. Shortly after we were in her bed. About 3 hours later, her friend, Patatina, and her Catholic mother, woke up. Since they weren’t supposed to know I was there, I had to sneak out.

Outside the sun was already high in the bright blue sky and it was hot as usual. I got a taxi back to my hostel, got something to eat and took a shower. Everyone were up and about, doing their thing. At 12:30 pm I finally went to bed and got some well deserved sleep.

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