So, this one time:
A Cubaña Story
So, this one glorious Friday afternoon towards the end of the year our department went up to the 8th floor — I learnt that day that that’s where the boardrooms, bar area, & views of the land were.
I’d only been in Cape Town for about a month so the aerial views of the ocean, the harbour, the CBD, & table mountain still made me weep. Why were we there? Apparently it was something important, I don’t know… I can’t remember.
If you’ve been to Cape Town during December time you’ll know the vibe: late sunsets, beach days, warm weather, beautiful happy people, life is just good. The whiskey and I soon started to enjoy this department meeting turned skyscraper-view Friday afternoon drinks situation that had developed.
Being the only whiskey drinker in the room, it eventually all started to catch up with me, and I decided I was tapping out. The sun hadn’t even gone down yet but I was content (it was 19:30… we’d been at it since 16:00ish).
The plan: drive the long 2km trek back to my house in CBD traffic, eat something & sleep.
I saw the toughest flames during the stumble back to my car in the parking lot. Only 2 times have I ever had half a bottle of whiskey alone… I think 2 times is enough.
Somewhere between my goodbyes and sitting in my car in the parking, I had managed to convince a friend of mine’s sister to come through to my place. Why? Apparently it was something important, I don’t know… I can’t remember.
But true to form, Babygirl (let’s call her that for this story) was on my couch an hour later - I just wanted food and sleep.
We watched a movie — I think;
I had more whiskey — definitely;
She made a few phone calls — perhaps;
My flatmate came back — probably;
I was relieved when she finally told me she was leaving for Cubaña — of course;
I was deeply perplexed when I found myself driving her there — what do you think?
Did I agree? I probably said ‘Maybe’.
The occupants of my vehicle had tripled along the way, and I now found myself arriving squad deep at this establishment.
For those of you familiar with Cubaña in Greenpoint, you’ll know that whether you like it or not you will touch chests with men you do not know, repeatedly and for prolonged periods of time. I think the correct term for this is either “over crowding” or “fire hazard”. But there I was at the bar — hungry and turnt to my socks — trying to play along.
Struggling through my beer I watched Babygirl talking to the bartender as she stood next to me. He leaves, she turned back to her friends.
He comes back eventually with a sparkly bottle of bubbly in an ice bucket and they all cheer in giddiness.
(Sidenote: by this point in the night I’d told her about four times I was leaving and each time the response was the same “no, please don’t leave yet” followed by cold shoulder ignoring tactics.)
I’m fed up, I’m drunk, I’m tired, I’m hungry.
I decide I’m walking out without saying bye — the bartender slides her a crisp white receipt.
Then Babygirl takes the receipt, turns, and hands it to me with no visible remorse. Bra, I don’t think you understand: she didn’t even look at it. I got dragged here, risking drunk driving charges and my life, to pay for their drinks.
“You actually want me to pay for this?”
“Yes” she turned back to her friends.
My phone vibrated in my pocket: FNB :) Rxxxx.xx reserved for purchase @ Cubaña Greenpoint from a/c …
I left after that — I don’t remember the drive home.
Things I Learnt: Don’t say maybe if you want to say no
P.S.: This is basically the advice every older female in my family gave me regarding Cape Town women: