Was It Better Back Then?

We did write a while ago about what we called ‘the end of innocence‘… it’s not really about nostalgia and the feeling that in the so called ‘good old times‘ everything was better. What we discovered the big difference between then and now is simply the attitude. People believing that there will be a bright and shiny future where all of us are travelling in flying cars and living in rocket shape houses. Now we know that things didn’t quite turn out this way and when people think about the future they just hope that it won’t be just that bad..

“The other day I found myself diving into another moment of nostalgia when I came across a short documentary about the legendary Paris to Dakar rally. It’s the Eighties and I was in high school and I was reading that magazine called ‘Off Road’. That meant Jeeps and Land Cruisers and the Suzuki LJ80, long before the term ‘SUV’ invented!” muses Christian.

I was dreaming of one day taking part in the Dakar, a totally mad adventure for amateurs organised my Thierry Sabine, where the participants where crossing the Sahara desert armed with compass and a good nose for navigation and where the road book usually just contained 2 dots on the map: Where you start and where you need to get to.

In 1986 Sabine became the victim of the desert when his helicopter crashed in a sand storm, a year later (I did watch the start on New Year’s morning in Paris that year) the adventure itself became the victim of the big teams with the big money. Admittedly, the Peugeot 205 T16 were cool machines, but the spirit was dying.”

Though over the years things went from bad to worse, and Africa became increasingly dangerous. It was not about the desert though, danger was man made. And then one day it became completely impossible and that magic continent where the sky is higher than anywhere else had to be left behind and nowadays the rally is taking place in South America.

That made us think, and we even did visit Wikipedia for some clarification. The Eighties did see the Iran-Irak war. The civil war in El Salvador. The Soviets in Afghanistan. Not to mention that the Cold War was still reality and Germany was divided. In other words, the world was far from perfect.

“Nevertheless, there was this feeling that one day the world will be a better place one day. Or was it just me? I’m just thinking, little did we know how bad it would become. You tell me, where are we heading?”