Last night I had the strangest dream
I woke up after 3:00 am after having had an interesting dream — that Val and I had been transported back 50 years or so to a town in the Free State, either Bethlehem or Bloemfontein, and the main way of knowing it was that the cars all were so old. We were on the pavement outside a building that people were waiting to open, and talked to some of them, wondering if they would sound different, and whether we might use words that would betray us as being from another era, and if we should find a museum and look at their exhibits. We were somewhat reluctant, by a kind of tacit consent, to say that we were from the future, and to use words and expressions that might not be understood, and wondered what words and expressions might give us away. There were lots of black cars, including a new and shiny Austin A55, and then a round-backed Volvo went by. And the cars not only had bumpers, but the bumpers were chromed, as were the surrounds of the lights and the front and rear windows.
It was only after I woke up that some other difficulties occurred to me — that if we had described everyday life in our time people might not have believed us. Cars and styles of clothes might have been the obvious differences, but if we had tried to buy anything or stay in a hotel our money would have been unrecgnisable. What, they might ask, is a Rand? Credit cards too. If we had said that many homes had personal computers, who would have believed us? And if we had said that Thabo Mbeki had followed Nelson Mandela as President we should undoubtedly have been locked up.