Saturday morning, A chat about then and now

A chat about Then and Now.

Our granddaughter, little Princess Gabbi spends every second weekend with us, and no two weekends are ever the same.

It’s Saturday morning, I’m enjoying my coffee in bed, a slow start to the day.  Gabbi is snuggling up with her Papa and I, and I’m scrolling through Facebook.  I come across a post that mentions something about Telex machines… and that was where the conversation started.

Gabbi was intrigued by what a Telex machine could possibly be.  So, I took her back to the ’80’s, my first job, when I worked as a secretary, and during lunctime, relieved the Telex operator.  I googled a picture of a telex machine to show her, and then explained that a telex was a message that could be sent across the globe, within minutes, by typing a message into the telex machine, encoded into a binary code on the telex tape, which was then converted to text on the recipient’s side, all through the wonderful technology of a Telex machine.

Of course, Gabbi’s response to this, was “Why didn’t you just send a WhatsApp Ma?” Well, because we didn’t have WhatsApp in the ’80’s.  Imagine Gabbi’s shock and surprise .. a life without WhatsApp? Not something she can relate to.

The conversation moved on… She then asked me how we charged our phones.  And was beyond flaberghasted by my response, that no, we didn’t charge our phones because they were permanently connected to the socket in the wall, and, no, we could not walk around the house with them, much less, put them in our handbags or pockets and go wherever we wanted, and still make and receive phonecalls.  Her eyes, grew huge in disbelief – and I got a “He Banna – you couldn’t take your phone with you??”

From there, the conversation took a new turn…

G: “What about Netflix and YouTube Ma, how did you watch those?”

M: “There was no Netflix or YouTube my chicken pie, we didn’t watch anything on the internet, in fact, we didn’t have the internet until the late 1980’s.”

Well! Gabbi was truly shocked that we had no internet and no smart phones and no YouTube or Netflix.  She just could not visualise a life without these.

And more questions followed…

G: “But Ma, how did you do anything without the internet.  How did you do school projects, find recipes, or vidoe tutorials on how to do crafts and other cool stuff?”

Telex Machine

The Telex machine that sparked the conversation

 M:  “Well, for our school projects, we had to go to the public library, find the books and encyclopedias on the proect subject, make photocopies of the pictures, and transcribe the information from the books to our notepads.”

G: “You had to write out all the information for your projects on a notepad? Why didn’t you just type it on your laptop?”

M: “A laptop, a computer, we didn’t have those until about 19909.  We used typewriters and Word Processors, which which were the beginnings of the computer.  But that was only in the work environment, at home, some of us had typewriters, but we mostly had to put pen to paper and write.”

Another cup of coffee ☕, and more questions from Gabbi…

G: “Gosh! How did you do anything Ma? No internet, no Smartphones, no YouTube or Netflix?? What did you do when then there was loadshedding.”

M: “Gabbi, that was also something we didn’t have back then – loadshedding.   Our electricity stayed on all the time.  It only went off if there was a lightning strike that affected power cables, or very rarely if there were issues at the power stations. “

G: “You mean you didn’t have Eskom?” 😱

M: “We had Eskom, but they didn’t do loadshedding”

By this time, I was laughing so much, I was crying! 🤣🤣

All in in all, it was lovely way to spend a Saturday morning.  A great history lessson for Gabbi, and a hilarous trip down memory lane for me, recounting life in the ’70’s and ’80s to my 8 year old GenZ granddaughter.




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