Welcome to GPSA.
The Weekly update to life in post-apartheid South Africa.
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|17 February 2005|
Before the Internet or the AppleMac...Before semi-automatics and crack cocaine...Before SEGA or Cartoon Network...Before Playstation and MTV...Way back.
I'm talking about the time of Hide and Seek in the park...or the dark.
The cafe down the road, Hopscotch, Donkey, skipping and handstands, backyard cricket with a tomato box, Dandy & Beano annuals, French skipping, charms and "arlies", jumping the river, living on the beach, building a swing from a piece of rope tied to a tree, tennis on the street or swing ball in the backyard.
The smell of suntan lotion, hot tar and Oros. Wicks bubble gum for a cent. An ice cream cone from the kombi that plays a tune.
Wait, can you still remember...
When around the corner seemed far away and going into town seemed like going somewhere, and your ma made you "dress up" for the trip. A million mozzie bites and peeling skin in summer. Sticky fingers and sand in and on everything.
Cops and Robbers, Rounders, Stingers, Foefie slides & climbing trees. Walking or riding your bike to school - no matter what the weather.
Running till you were out of breath. Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt. Jumping on the bed..... Pillow fights. Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down.
Being tired from playing... Remember that?
The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team. Paper water bombs and clay "lats" were the ultimate weapon.
A piece of card in the spokes held by a clothes peg transformed any bicycle into a motorcycle.
I'm not finished just yet... Can you still taste and smell...
Eating jelly powder from the box, ice lollies made from cold drink in Tupperware holders in the freezer. Making sherbet from sugar and ENOS and boiling tins of condensed milk to make caramel - took hours! Marshmallow fish and mice.
Remember when... There were two types of takkies - Tommies and the canvas ones, and the only time you wore them at school, was for "PT". It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends.
Nobody owned a pedigree dog. 25 cents was decent pocket money. When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for 5 cents and feel lucky.
When nearly everyone's mom was at home when the kids got there.
Remember when it was magic when dad would "remove" his thumb, or make 10 cents appear from behind your ear. When it was considered a great privilege and very unusual to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant or in a proper hotel. Or when on the rare occasion Dad stopped at a roadhouse or "Dairy Den".
Remember when any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him or use him to carry groceries and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it. When being sent to the head master's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home.
Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn't because of muggings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat....and some of us are still afraid of them!
Didn't that feel good.....just to go back and say, Yeah, I remember that!
Remember when.... Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny- miney-mo." Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "Nix!"
"A race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.
Money was handled by whoever was the banker in "Monopoly"
The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was germs. Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a BIC pen pea shooter or a "cattie". Taking drugs meant orange-flavoured chewable vitamin C or Milk of Magnesia. Ice cream was considered a basic food group. Skills and courage were discovered because of a "dare".
Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors.
If you can remember most or all of these, then you have LIVED