No clubs could trump my heart

Lawrence Hamilton
Lawrence Hamilton
Much is made of the antics and revelry of O Week, but what is it really like? Master's student and first-time University of Otago attendee Lawrence Hamilton provides the Otago Daily Times with an insider's look into the annual celebration.

If you remember the '60s, then you obviously weren't there - and a similar adage could apply to the International Expo at Forsyth Barr stadium yesterday.

If you were there, then you obviously weren't at the Toga Party the night before, or the flat fire that brought the ''Boning Room'' to its early demise. (Full disclaimer: I was not at the Toga Party or the ''Boning Room'').

''I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member,'' said Groucho Marx.

I repeated this to myself as I wandered the extremely crowded aisles at Clubs Day in the Union Hall.

The tramping club was far too popular. They could take anyone.

The harrier club seemed the opposite, lonely enough to take someone like me.

A placard told me of the importance of de-sexing my pets - unfortunately, I don't have any pets.

The Shamanic circle seemed intriguing, but moving to the South Island to become a pagan feels a bit hackneyed.

I pocketed some chocolate and wandered alone and clubless out to the Union Lawn.

I recognised a face from my first weeks in Dunedin.

We sat under the shade of a tree while watching students play volleyball.

We talked about African travel, the joys of California, the undiscovered beauty of New Caledonia and compared the Grateful Dead to Congolese music.

All as students from around the world idled, chatted and played laser tag.

It was cosmopolitan Dunedin on full display - no clubs, no fees and no meetings.

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