When movies cost R2, and when we watched TV three times a week

May 21, 2012

Dear Max

I remember in “my day”, when my dad dropped me off at the movies with R5 for a ticket, popcorn, Coke and a phonecall to be fetched, he used to tell me that in “his day”, he could get a movie ticket, Coke and popcorn for just 10 cents. I used to laugh, and say “Aaaargh Dad” while rolling my eyes. And now dude, it’s my turn to tell you how it was in my day, after I was inspired by Andrea’s wonderful post about tickey boxes. (Thank you Andrea for allowing me to honour your blog post here). Just don’t roll your eyes, Max.

In my day:

– There was English TV around three times a week. The other nights were Afrikaans TV, and while we sometimes amused ourselves by watching Quincy dubbed in Afrikaans, or Trompie, it wasn’t as cool. And I mostly missed the plot. Literally. I think we even had one channel to choose from, and we had to physically go to the TV to switch it on and off, and adjust volume. Crazy!

– We had “computer studies” at school using old Macs and floppy disks. I only became proficient in typing and computers in my late teens. There was no social media nor iPads, and the best gaming we had was a big box called an Atari that came with joysticks. More crazy, huh?

– I used to acquire most of my music by taping songs on the radio. No downloads, no buying on iTunes. Much of the time, my timing was off, so my favourite song would have some of the DJ’s voice, or the beginning of an ad. The worst thing was when someone taped over your music, or if your tape got damaged. These were technical problems of the time.

– Our afternoons were spent walking to the shops, buying a chocolate for 50c, swimming for hours, building tents with blankets, baking biscuits, baking ShrinkyDinks (I’m delighted to know these still exist), dressing up, riding bikes, running around and having secret adventures in the garden. I don’t remember much being switched on when I got home from school.

– Cellphones? WTF were those?

– There were no 4x4s. Imagine that?!? Families of three, four and five were able to safely and effectively get from point A to B and even go on holidays without a big vehicle.

– We ate green and orange stuff without guilt or knowledge that there was anything potentially dodgy in them. Smarties came in the most awesome bright colours. Now they’re dull. There were no organics or foods free of anything. And I don’t remember anyone having food allergies or intolerances then.

– Without social media and cellphones, we did a lot of speaking face to face, and I yakked a lot on the phone to my friends. Imagine that? The only way to communicate was to speak! And I used to write letters to my friends in Cape Town. Handwritten letters. On pretty stationery. I even had penpals overseas.


I can’t conceive of how things will change in 10 and 20 years’ time, but I suspect we might be having a bit of a chuckle about how things were when you were a toddler and preschooler. And laughing at pictures of our “relic” iPads and iPhones, and sighing at the old memory of those memorabilia – Angry Birds.

Yours in nostalgia,


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  • Bo

    What an awesome post! Reading it had me smiling and going “ah yes” a lot. Maya the bee. I’m finished!

    May 21, 2012 at 8:17 am Reply
  • Preetika

    love this post 🙂

    May 21, 2012 at 9:36 am Reply
  • Cat@jugglingactoflife

    Tapes! Heavens yes. And I started computer studies with punch cards abd then moving onto basic and Pascal

    May 22, 2012 at 9:02 pm Reply
  • Denita

    Love this post! So many great memories. I may just need to honour this post too!! Oh, and I have a sneaky feeling we are a similar age, as my memories are the same x

    May 23, 2012 at 8:54 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Please go ahead. Look forward to reading 🙂

      May 24, 2012 at 11:09 am Reply

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