I am a child of breakthrough. I am a child of chaos. I was born during the time people were feeling unrest. They wanted to decide. They wanted freedom. I was three when the martial state was introduced. I donít remember tanks in the streets, soldiers at the sidewalks. I donít remember the curfew. It took another 7 years before the long-desired freedom was possible. How happy we were. How much hope we had. Finally, we will be able to decide, we will elect our government, we will decide of our lives. We were children allowed into the adult world. We were not ready.
The disappointment followed quickly. Life was supposed to get better, but for so many, it didnít. People lost their jobs. The state-owned companies were being closed. Nothing was offered in return. The new reality was too scary, too difficult. There was no help to be expected. The subsequent governments did nothing, except for taking away what little the people had. Yes, there were now products in the shops Ė but who would buy them if there was no money? Yes, we could vote Ė but who do you vote for if there is no one to trust? People saw the need for university educationÖ but what use is your mastersí when the unemployment exceeds 20%? This was not what we expected. This was not what we were promised. And at the same time, there were people getting so rich, so quickly. People making careers. They had expensive western cars. They had color TV. They built villas. They spent holidays abroad. They cheated.
Life was simpler before. There were so many things you did not have to worry about. Your job was guaranteed. Your healthcare was free. Your children could go to a camp at a very low cost, so everyone could afford it. People were equal. And you knew who to blame for all that you didnít have. And you knew the government was lying, but it would take care of you.
How many of you know the real taste of chocolate? Oranges? Salami?
These were not easily available. You learned to cherish them when you got them. Christmas was such a wonderful time, when you could really appreciate everything you had.
People had more time. There was no pressure to work long hours at your workplace to make a career. You did not try to buy your childís love, because there was not much you could offer them except for your time.
The chaos will give place to order. The children will grow up and learn to live in the new world. But change is difficult and needs time. And there will always be a nostalgia for the times when life was simple and required little effort. Donít we always miss our childhood?
Posts: 5696 | Registered: Feb 2002
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Congrats Kama on your 3000 posts ! And believe me, I know what you ment in your post. Been there, done that. Wouldn't return to it though, there's stuff that kills all that nostalgia...
Posts: 4426 | Registered: Sep 2003
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I have heard anti-western, pro-old days rants before. Yours was the first I heard that said, "It was so much easier before, but it will be better after."
PS. For those interested in some Eastern European history, try Poland by James Michener. It made me realize that while my ancestors in the US were fighting for their freedom at valley forge, my ancestors in places that may or may not be a part of Poland now or then, were being entertained by the great "classical" musicians.
In the US world history goes--Sumer-Egypt-Greece-Rome-England-US. What was happening in the rest of the world at any given point in time is totally immaterial.
India is unimportant until it fights for its freedom from Britain. China is somewhat important around 1800, but not again until WWII. Eastern Europe is never important except as the place that started WWI or as a Soviet Satelitte Bloc. That is such a shame.
That got me so interested I bought a used "Eastern European History" text book and devoured it.