07 December 2004

Do you remember?


Before the Internet or the AppleMac...
Before semi-automatics and crack cocaine...
Before SEGA, Cartoon Network and Teletubbies...
Before Playstation and MTV...
Way back.

I'm talking about the time of playing Hide and Seek in the park until after dark whithout your parents worrying. The cafe down the road that sold everything, Hopscotch, skipping and handstands, backyard cricket with a tomato box, "Bollie" and "Liewe Heksie" cartoons in the Huisgenoot, trading writing paper and stickers, fishing with willow branches in the stream, catching tadpoles, living on the beach, building a swing from a piece of rope tied to a tree, tennis in the street and swing ball in the backyard.

A Wilson's toffee for 2 cents. A white and pink ice cream cone from the kombi that played a tune. 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. Going to school barefoot. Watching "Mina Moo", "Pumpkin Patch", "Wielie Walie", "Mannemarak" and "Oscar en Knersus".

A million mozzie bites and peeling skin in summer. The smell of suntan lotion, hot tar and Oros. Sticky fingers and sand in and on everything. Feeding seasnails to the anemones in the rock pools.

"Vroteier", Telegram, hand tennis, Foefie slides & climbing trees. 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. Paper water bombs and mud clots were the ultimate weapon. Going everywhere on your BMX , without ever needing helmets or pads.

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.

It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends. Nobody owned a pedigree dog. R2 was decent pocket money. When nearly everyone's mom was at home when the kids got there. Everybody kept silkworms and used them to spin silk bookmarks for their grandmother.

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 and you got to drink a real milkshake.

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 "kettie".
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.

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Blogger Rich...! said...

Fuck...awesome post, although you lost me a little on some of the tv shows.


11:10 AM, December 09, 2004  
Blogger onanymous said...

They were all Afrikaans, used puppets in one way or another and were semi-educational, even if it was just to teach kids how good it is to drink milk :)

And of course my favourite line comes from Sarel Seemonster: "Stories is my leeeeewe" (stories are my life)

11:24 AM, December 09, 2004  
Blogger The Saturnyne said...

i loved that.

I do indeed remember very similar things from my childhood.

Personal fond memories include: Fighting with rhubarb swords with my best friend in a churchyard, much to our vicars annoyance (but he was right); British Bulldog 1-2-3, played the entire (juniors) school yard at break; Garden creeping; Walking far far into the countryside by myself and never being lost or afraid of strangers; Aah, so many things that are gone now.

Muchness of love to ya for the remembering.


6:26 PM, December 17, 2004  
Blogger onanymous said...

Why does it seem that we had so much more time to do all of these things when we were younger - even though you had to be in bed by 8?

Anyway, thanks for stopping by.

8:02 AM, December 20, 2004  
Blogger Souvik said...

Wonderful, wonderful post.

I am from India, & it is strangely exciting to find similarities.

No mention of 'Darkroom' though; sort of an evolved version of hide & seek, you had just one room- all lights switched off - where the group hid & used whatever means available to fool the incoming person ( I forget what that role was called).

And I think a lot of the children decided using "Inky plinky plonky" instead of "Eenie meeny..."


10:18 AM, December 20, 2004  
Blogger onanymous said...

Actually, I think we also played a similar game.
It is amazing how universal some things can be.

10:30 AM, December 20, 2004  
Blogger The Saturnyne said...

Oh wow, Yarr! Darkroom! Although we didn't have the same name, we had several variations. One was a particular favourite, called "Murder In The Dark". Hillarious.

PS: Onan. AS one gets older, time does indeed seem to get faster and faster. It scares me breathless some days.

PPS: And i'll definitely be stoppinng by more often...

3:56 AM, December 22, 2004  
Blogger onanymous said...

Thanks. It's always good to have visitors.

I am going on holiday though, so there might not be a lot of posts before I get back, since I will have to rely on my little dail-up modem at home.

8:06 AM, December 23, 2004  
Blogger mondays said...

Remember 'Die Swape' in Bollie... and pooling your pocket money with the neighbours to rent not only a video (will that be vhs or beta?), but also the whoile VCR... in a wooden box!

9:01 PM, January 03, 2005  
Blogger onanymous said...

Oh yes, beta tapes!

7:58 AM, January 04, 2005  
Blogger verbs said...

Wow. What an amzing post. How come I didn't know about this almost amonth ago!!! :)

4:45 PM, January 04, 2005  
Blogger onanymous said...

Glad you liked it.

I don't know if it is just me, but I seem completely unable to find your blog anywhere.

9:23 AM, January 05, 2005  
Blogger verbs said...

No, it's not just you. Unfortunately I have stopped blogging for a while.

Your post reminded me of some of my vaguely similar nostalgic posts I made every so often.

Now I live vicariously through bloggers like you! Wish I'd visited here sooner. :)

6:02 AM, January 06, 2005  
Blogger Aquila said...

Absolutely awesome - that was a trip down memory lane like no other - thanks for that.

How were we able to have so much time on our hands when we were kids, but nowdays we have little time for anything. One of life's little mysteries.

Oh to be a carefree kid again....

10:37 AM, January 25, 2005  
Blogger injinuity said...

well I guess its a part of life... I guess in twenty years from now I will look back and say how good the life was back then... but your post is making me very nostalgic ... dont know why

5:01 PM, February 04, 2005  
Blogger uwe said...

I know I'm rather late with this comment, but I feel like I just HAD to say something!

Man, that was an AWESOME post... so many memories have just flooded into my head! I remember prunning around the garden with pieces of wood that looked nothing like a real gun and making funny noises(like a gun)! I remember playing Blind Man's Bluff (Darkroom, as it is also known) and lying in the driveway to dry off after a swim in the neighbours pool in the middle of summer!

There's so much more, but I won't bore you with them!

Thanks a million for the post!

10:07 PM, March 23, 2005  
Anonymous slappy77 said...

Absolutely awsome post!!!

I might be alone here but I'll never forget running through the sprinkler in your underwear(in the front yard) on a hot summer day.

I'll be coming here more often from now on.

12:34 AM, March 28, 2005  
Blogger onanymous said...

Oh yes, we did that during break at primary school.(The sprinkler thing, NOT the underwear thing)Such fun.

9:56 AM, March 29, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A 'race issue' meant arguing about who ran the fastest"? Are you serious? Clearly growing up in the lush, cotton wool, soft cocoon of a well of white family left you a little blind and somewhat sadly naive

10:11 PM, April 26, 2005  
Blogger onanymous said...

Naïve adj.
Lacking worldly experience and understanding,
Simple and guileless;
Artless: a child with a naive charm.

It is sad that my post upset you so much, because I think you are missing the point a bit.

This post is about some of the things I remember fondly from my childhood. Yes, they are memories. And I know time usually soften the edges, make things seem different, better - it's just the way it works. There will always be that elusive concept of the 'Good Old Days'. It doesn't mean I want to go back there.

Secondly, I was a child, so my perception of my surroundings were understandably childish and limited. Naïve if you will. I never once implied that I still feel that way. If I did, your comment might be valid, but I don't, so it isn't.

That specific line is there to illustrate that when you are young, the world seems to be a much simpler place.

So yes, this post is a bit naïve. It was meant to be.
It was also meant to remind me that I am not that shy little girl anymore.
I grew up.
I just like to remember that sometimes.

9:16 AM, April 29, 2005  
Blogger framedsheep said...

From the perspective that many - I think - 'white' kids grew up in - there can be no doubt that we look back on our own 'Wonder Years' to recount the time when we were growing up. There are fond memories to recount;

- Carvel Ice Cream
- Video Machines & The Video Shop
- Pizza Hut
- Maya The Bee
- 'simulcast' Miami Vice / and other TV shows
- Michael De Morgan
- The constant "State of Emergency" graphic on the TV
- Charl Pauw
- Zola Budd
- Tombola
- Boswell Wilkie Circus
- BMX bicycles

There's probably a lot more that I cannot recall at the moment, however yes, I too had those moments where wrapped in a particular view of the world that was delivered to me, I was unawares of what else was going on. I too thought to myself; "Hrmm, you know what there was a lot of evil going down, whilst I was enjoying the good life!" - and I felt some guilt. But you know what, in the lottery of life, we cannot choose in to which family we are born. We can however choose something about the person that we eventually become. I did not know what was really going on until I was much older. Many people were sheltered from the harsh and had realities.

With the good comes the bad; that's life - and what that good and bad may be is personal and specific. We should not forget what was our youth - it has formed a lot of who we are today.

An interesting post - thanks!

1:14 AM, May 01, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kennietjie (game with 2 sticks)

12:48 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger happybox said...

Maybe I am a bit older and further back, but I remember Choppers (not BMX's). Also sweets such as Chappies bubblegum, Sugus, Bonanzos. What about tree-houses and your own secret "gang" with passwords and secret codes? Collecting the little round discs in the coca-cola bottle-caps. Marbles. Those were definitely the days.

7:44 AM, September 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, that got me traveling - amazing how timeless your memories are – being able to still make an impact after all this time. You deserve more than just "nice post". It is difficult for me to express my thoughts but you sort of drew me a picture while reading your memories.
All we can do to keep on holding on is to remind ourselves that, this moment - right now - there is pretty much the same thing happening to others and still ourselves.
Thank you for remembering!

8:41 AM, February 22, 2007  
Blogger icepick said...

I know im terribly late haha but...

Awesome post!

Really brought back some good memories.
Thinking back that far, one forgets all the bad shit. :)

"Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors."

I loved this, having four older brothers and all.

8:52 AM, July 11, 2008  

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