Thursday, 25 September 2014

Back When We......

Yesterday's prompt for Writer's Catalysts was Window Shopping, I never had a chance to get all creative yesterday, so here is my attempt today.

Remember back when we got all dressed up to go out Window Shopping. What you don't remember ever doing that - who would honestly want to go Window Shopping - what is that anyway. Sorry I forgot most of you are too young to know what we did for fun in the sixties and seventies. Yes I am THAT old, like Chad always says "Oh you mean when you traveled by ox-wagon" The cheeky boy wait until I tell him about the outings to go window shopping. 

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OK, we did other fun things like go to the zoo, go for long holidays to the sea, eat out in restaurants, the best were roadhouses, we went to movies, matinee shows like The Sound Of Music. We went on picnics, we went fishing, we went shopping and then we went Window Shopping. On the whole we did pretty much what we do today - except for the Window Shopping.

Did you know that shops used to close at 5pm on weekdays, at 1pm on Saturdays, banks closed at 11am on a Saturday and all the shops closed on Sundays and Public Holidays. There was always a corner cafe in every town or suburb, dark and dingy, very over priced owned by an angry Greek. They opened till late, everyday even Saturdays and Sundays, but very few if any opened on Public Holidays, especially Christmas; New Year and Easter. Then there was always a vegetable shop on every other corner, open for business just like the corner cafe, also dark and dingy, but with the freshest of fruit and vegetables, owned by an even angrier Portuguese man. Don't ask why they were always angry, they just were. Maybe because they worked when everyone enjoyed time off. Maybe; because the apartheid government also treated them badly; maybe people did not respect them and looked down on them - whatever the reason they were mostly surly angry and unfriendly, but if you wanted bread or a coke or sweets you shopped there or you waited until Monday morning.

There was no shopping for clothes or furniture or even grocery shopping on a Saturday afternoon. You rushed to the shops on a Saturday morning, they were jam packed, you did your shopping, went home and relaxed, glad that you made it before 1pm. That left very little time to go around looking for the perfect lounge suite; or that pretty dress you needed for a special night out, so what did you do. You all piled into the car and drove into town at night and looked at the lovely displays in the well lit shop windows. Maybe money was tight and there was nothing to do, so off you went as a family to look at all the things you couldn't afford. Walking up and down the streets, there were no malls like we have today - all shopping was done in town. Yes Joburg CBD - imagine we went there at night to walk around looking in shop windows, we did it in Durban CBD too. We never had TV then either and when TV first came to South Africa there were NO adverts - how cool was that, but was it that cool. The Edgars' sale looks so much more appealing on TV than it does in a black and white newspaper advert - and yes Chad, there was an Edgars back in the day - Can you believe it. The best was going Window Shopping in December when the whole city was lit up with Christmas lights and we went into town to see the lights. When the Christmas decorations were put up in December and not in September like today. Now by the time Christmas comes you are so sick of the sight of Reindeer and Jingle Bells and Christmas Cheer left sometime in October and Window Shopping is something you avoid like the plague.

So now do you get why went went Window Shopping all dressed up for a night on the town - there was not much else to do I guess . Now we whip out an electronic device, search what we are looking for and either buy it online or rush off to the mall on a Saturday afternoon and buy whatever we found online or better still whip out the good old credit card and order it online without even leaving home.

The good old days - when toilet paper was toilet paper and Shea Butter was a lotion. Were they really the good old days - there is good and bad now and in the past and we just need to remember both so we can enjoy the future

Did you ever go Window Shopping or are you only from the Google Generation. This post was for the Writers Catalysts prompt for Tuesday. To join in or find out more about Writers Catalyst Click Here or Here

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