MEAGAN DILL

Hatfield Square can seem a bit like a foreign land at first – a land where the only currency that matters is booze, where someone you met five minutes ago becomes your best friend, and where some very, ahem, “interesting” mating rituals can be observed. But don’t let this alarm you. There’s no need to fear the drunken debauchery that is the Square – as always, Perdeby’s got your back. Here follows everything you need to know about Hatfield Square.

All in all, there are about ten bars and clubs in and around the Square. The best night to party it up is usually Thursday, because of the infamous Aandklas special (buy one get one free between the hours of 20:00 and 21:00).

Just a little disclaimer: Perdeby obviously encourages safe drinking, so remember to eat beforehand, stay hydrated, always keep an eye on your drink and belongings, stick with people you know, and of course, never drive drunk. That said, as seasoned veterans of the Square, we’ve put together a rough guide to the perfect night in Hatfield.

Before the party starts …

Eat something. You’re going to need it. The lamb kebab wrap at Uncle Faouzi’s in Burnett Street will definitely give you enough nourishment to face the night ahead. If you ask for extra chips in the wrap (and you should, it’s delicious) it’ll come to around R35, which is really good value for money.

If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, then try the Stone Lion Café down the road. One of Hatfield’s best kept secrets is their delicious nachos, which are a rare find in Pretoria if you’re into Mexican food.

Otherwise, the McDonalds opposite the Square is open 24 hours a day, so you can make a pit stop there at any time of the night.

17:00 – The night begins at Cheeky Monkey

Cheeky Monkey is the ideal place to begin your night of mischief. The cocktails are tasty, and the more you drink now, the better the tequila will taste later (but save that for Aandklas). There is a daily cocktail special at Cheeky Monkey from 15:00 to 19:00 where if you buy one cocktail you get another free. Yay!

But what cocktails should you order? Perdeby favourites include the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the Sex on the Beach and – if you’re super serious about drinking – the Cheeky Monkey Ice Tea (exercise caution, it really packs a punch). Oh, and a word of advice: avoid the Paris Hilton. It really is foul – which, considering the name, should have been obvious. Don’t make the same mistake we did.

20:00 – Head on over to Aandklas

By this time Aandklas should be pumping, especially if it’s a Thursday night. Make your way to the bar and knock back a tequila (a night in Aandklas isn’t complete without one). Now that you’ve got some Dutch courage running through your veins, you should feel more than comfortable with climbing on top of one of the tables and busting a groove. Another Aandklas tradition, naturally.

Aandklas is known for its rock ‘n roll style and the slightly more alternative crowd it attracts. Basically, this means less poppies and jocks, and more of the emo/indie type. You can also play a game of pool or foosball if that’s your thing.

If you have a camera with you a lot of pictures will be taken at Aandklas, which you can laugh at in the morning.

01:00  – OppiSquare time

By this time of the evening, you’re probably craving the guilty pleasure of some rather more commercial pop, dance or hip hop. OppiSquare is a good place to stop over on your way to DropZone, which will inevitably be your last stop (trust us on this one). At OppiSquare you’ll hear most of the latest hits remixed with some dance beats, which at this stage, you’ll probably enjoy. But the dance floor is kind of small, and tends to get a bit cramped, which leads to the next stop.

02:00 – DropZone … Uh oh

If you’ve made it to this point, congratulations. You have either hit rock bottom or are having the time of your life.

You’ll stumble up what feels like a billion stairs before reaching one or two formidable bouncers. Girls are usually allowed to just stroll past but guys may have a little more trouble than that. Once you make it inside, you’ll notice that pretty much everyone in DropZone is on the prowl. If you’re looking for action you’ll have no trouble finding it here. If not, just ignore the creeps hitting on you and dance, as they say, like nobody’s watching. The music will be loud and the dancefloor packed. If you’re feeling daring you can even try your skills out on the stripper pole.

At some point, you’ll really want to leave because sleep is sounding like a fantastic idea and your legs hurt from all the boogying you’ve been doing and just the thought of tequila makes you want to barf everywhere forever. Unfortunately, just when you’re about to leave, “your song” will inevitably come on. And again …  and again. Okay, so pretty much every song will become “your song”. Here at Perdeby we call that “the DropZone effect”.

Eventually you’ll manage to pry yourself away (a good strategy is to slowly inch your way to the edge of the dancefloor and bolt before the next song comes on). And after catching a lift with your designated driver or in a taxi cab, you can finally get some sleep. Try to eat something to soak up the alcohol and also drink some water. Keep a glass of it at your bedside table in case you wake up parched in the middle of the night (or morning as the case may be).

Surviving the morning after

You may have a teeny tiny hangover. Don’t worry, it’s curable. Shower, get yourself dressed in a semi-presentable manner, and head down to the Spur in Hatfield Square. Revisiting the scene of the crime may bring some memories rushing back, but don’t let this deter you. Spur has a super cheap breakfast special that runs until 11:00. Coffee is a suitable beverage to revive you, but Cream Soda also works quite well. We have no idea why. It just does.

If you follow these steps,you should even be in a suitable state to attend class (which is, of course, very important). And remember your sunglasses. You’re not superhuman, so sun is not a good idea in your fragile state.

So there you have it. You’ll be a Hatfield Square veteran in no time. There’s only one thing left to say: don’t take candy from strangers, kids.

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