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Party Life
Here we present unique experiences from the wild partylife around the world.

Irish heartbeat in Cape Town - South Africa

Here we go, here we go …….
With spectacular mountains and magnificent surf beaches, Cape Town is referred to be one of the world's most beautiful cities. The city is also one of the friendliest cities in the world to visit. Proofs for that you will find everywhere, especially in an Irish pub called The Rockin` Shamrock in Loop Street.

This is the place to go for having real fun! In September 1995 I attended the energetic nightlife in Cape Town, South Africa. The metropolitan city has numerous of night clubs, discotheques, wine-bars, music pubs, cocktail lounges and restaurants.

You can stay out in popular areas as the Waterfront, Sea Point, Camps Bay, Observatory and lower Cape Town until the early hours. At restaurants and pubs along the Waterfront you can get a magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean, the City Bowl and the Table Mountain. This area is also the gate to Cape Town's busy nightlife.

Further up, in to the city centre, at the corner of Bree and Waterkant Sts (the Green point), there are plenty of lively pubs and bars. In Loop Street nearby, you find the mentioned Irish pub.

The Rockin` Shamrock is a very small and narrow pub. It lies in an old building, with some green walls, traditional decor and with extremely friendly atmosphere. The interior of the pub is quite simple with some Irish attributes and decorations as flags, signposts, posters and pictures. But it is far more than that. The most important are the fantastic visitors. A mixture of people of all age, nationalities, colours and genders visits the pub. It is the crowd of visitors who really creates the unique atmosphere there.

Photo: Rockin` in the pub The Rockin` Shamrock - "I am the Wild Rover ….."

As an Irish idiom says: there are no strangers, just friends you haven't met. Everybody is here to make friendship and have fun. It doesn't take long before you are a part of the wild crowd. Your background is not of importance. It is the way you behave. You need to have the right spirit, and bring this to the people who "stumble" into the pub. Getting to know people and talk is always interesting. But in Rockin` Shamrock the music is always on an extra high volume, so it is almost impossible to hear what other people say. Anyway the music and "craic" (atmosphere) are, as the Irish say, "brilliant".

The music is a mix of traditional Irish music, and pop and rock. Don't worry about your voice, take the chance to sing along with other visitors and join them lifting the roof. If you mingle with the enormous crowd of people you will immediately feel that you have something in common with them. This pub is so fully packed sometimes that you almost can't move or breathe. The space is so limited that you, even though you climb higher, stand on a chair or a table, you will find it difficult to twist and jump.

To serve visitors, bartenders with bare upper part of their body, serves drinks from a higher altitude, and they balance excellent on the bar desk. If you have little bit control, you are welcome to share the bar desk with the bartenders too. It is always interesting to see how long you will be able to keep the balance. The heat is almost unbearable, and you sweat the whole time. It is just like standing right in the middle of a boiling pot.

Photo: Wild dancing on an upper level in Rockin` Shamrock pub in Cape Town

It is a wild, wild life. Dancing on tables, chairs and the bar desk. Damages on furniture and smashing of glasses happen sometimes. Be prepared for both black and brown showers. Don't take on your finest clothes on. Your clothes will be coloured black and brown from the beer, but it is also a status symbol, because everybody will see where you have been. And then they will understand that you like to mingle with people who like to socialise in real parties.

As we say in my small village Vinstra, where Peer Gynt comes from (whom the world famous Norwegian author Henrik Ibsen wrote about): we don't pretending having a party, we having a real party! We do the same as the though and nice local people in Cape Town do, we also take partying seriously!!! Sláinte ("toast" in Irish)! See you in Rockin` Shamrock sometimes!

Stein Morten Lund, 19 July 2000
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