25 years ago Tim Berners-Lee launched the World Wide Web, and the world changed forever… I recently read an article online where they are discussing what has changed in their lifetimes, not just mobile phones, internet etc., but things that might not be so obvious to younger people such as making ‘mix’ tapes from the radio, having to wait at home for a phone call, getting your photos developed at the chemist, three TV channels that closed down at night, and the amazing new indestructible music format – the CD.
It was a fascinating read and I could relate to most of the list having been born in the late Seventies, what got me though was the amount on the list that are not so different in 2014 in Cyprus, and how they did not seem so strange to me.
I would love to be able to travel back in time 25 years here in Cyprus, the changes in the UK have been huge, but nothing like they have seen here – in some ways anyway!
Although it is becoming more common, when we arrived in Cyprus, with the exception of the kiosk/ newsagents and bakeries you would not find a shop open on a Wednesday or Saturday afternoon, or at all on a Sunday. It caught me out many times in the beginning often running out of something important and finding myself driving to the tourist resorts in the hope of buying nappies or tea bags on a Saturday afternoon. Now the laws have been relaxed a little, but I am now surprised to see a big supermarket open on a Sunday.
Talking of supermarkets – it was mentioned how they were such a novelty being able to buy everything in one place. I don’t really remember not shopping in a big supermarket, but now I appreciate how convenient that was! Here you are rarely able to do everything in one place and you can’t buy anything more medical than a packet of throat sweets (if you’re lucky) in a supermarket.
I also don’t really remember the days before processed food, but I know the days ‘after’ them very well! On my trip back to the UK I was blown away by the array of boxes and packets available in the supermarket, how could I have forgotten? Ready meals, grated cheese, boxed cakes, and pre-cut fruit and veg, I was surprised to see how much there was.
People talk about how the man was always the head of the household, and my Mum, in the seventies tried to buy a fridge on hire purchase (remember that?) but needed her husband to be guarantor even though she was working herself. Obviously that has all changed now, but the man is still often regarded as the one in charge here.
A friend of mine cannot get a medical card as she is not married to her partner and father of her children. If she was working, she could get it in her own right, but she must be married if not to be classed as a ‘dependent’.
Do you remember the days of smoking indoors? Before the seatbelt laws came in? Health and Safety?
Although these things are legal requirements in Cyprus – well, maybe not Health and Safety – they seem to be mostly ignored, or not worried about!
Speaking to a local restaurant owner I learnt that our village only got main electricity in the Sixties and there was only one telephone in the main square when he was studying in England. When he wanted to call home he would ring it and someone would answer and go and fetch his father!
There has been a staggering amount of change here, some good some not so good – who knows what will happen in the next 25 years!