09 Apr 2018
My first 'hippie' (free life style) encounter.
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When I was at varsity in the middle 80’s, we were well beyond the true hippie era, but some of the best ‘glimpses on history’ that I have, are the occasional ‘hippie’ scenario’s that I experienced.
1986. I was invited to spend the first week of the summer holiday with a friend in the Still Bay area – Jongensfontein to be exact. Me and Andre had quite a few common interests, amongst which surfing and spearfishing featured quite high up the list. And in Jongensfontein, so I was told, you could do both in prime sea conditions.
It wasn’t long before the holiday actually started that I realised something ‘fishy’ is on the cards. The more I tried to establish whether we are going to stay in a tent, a house or a holiday cottage and what clothes I should pack, the more obscure the answers became – to the point where I was ready to withdraw. I am glad Andre ultimately convinced me. For a full week we lived in the sea, at the sea and off the sea. We literally had white wine and combinations of periwinkle, mussels, fish, perlemoen (legal in those days) and oysters for breakfast, lunch and supper. We slept in the open next to the fire each night. And counted the stars and opened the human oysters…most nights all 3 of them…
I was very bored the first night. I simply could not see myself spending a full week with only Andre at the sea with no further luxuries. (At least there was a fresh water stream nearby where we could wash.) He calmed me down by saying :”It won’t stay like this. You will see. Guaranteed. “ I remained sceptical for another few hours…
We were sitting in the sand, collecting little shells for wrist and ankle straps when 5 people appeared on the horizon, two of them seemingly carrying heavy stuff. I started to run for my clothes, as we were in the water shortly before and wasn’t properly dressed at all. But Andre grabbed my arm and pulled me down. “Relax mate. I know them….” And did he know them...
For 6 days the world came to a stand still. The 2 guys that carried the heavy stuff (utensils, spices and wine for 6 days) were paid and excused themselves. The 3 ladies that stayed behind were all familiar with the setting – apparently a school thing that started in their standard 9 year. Lucky me was drawn into the mix because the other male could not make it that year. The ‘hi, I am P…’ with a hand held out to introduce myself was completely ignored. Instead I was hugged and french kissed like seldomly before. The tone was set with immediate effect. Then no 2 introduced herself….followed by no 3. We settled with a glass each. No 2 was first to jump up :” I am starving for a ride in the waves. Whose board can I borrow? “ If I’d known the rules, I would be quicker to respond, but I learned very fast in those few days. A ride in the waves on a borrowed surf board earned you a ride in the flesh straight thereafter…
We lived naked for most of the time, only putting clothes on in the small hours of the night when it became too cold and the fire was half burnt out. I learned that certain coastal fynbos types make perfect mattresses. I learned that returning from a spearfishing trip with a decent size fish earned you 3 rides – one from each lady. I learned that preparing an edible mussel pot earned you 3 open mussels…Etc, etc.
I think what tickled my mind most during those 6 days, was how spontaneous the ladies were. It was pretty common for a lady to say :“ I now have a need. Mind helping me out ? Can I come sit on you ?” And the sex carried on whilst the other 3 simply continued what they were busy with.
There is only one very bad thing about a time like that. Once you have realized that a life style like that is in fact possible (albeit it for limited time), your entire body starts craving for it at times. I literally suffered from withdrawal symptoms the weeks afterwards.
In fact, re-living those moments in writing this, is not at all good for my body…. At all.