1 TV shows.
Remember Dallas? Entourage, 24, CSI, Californication and a host of others have made modern couch time that much more enjoyable. Yes, there’s still crap around (WWE wrestling reruns), but there’s so much more choice now.
2 Plastic surgery.
Thanks to the improvements in modern surgery techniques, there are fewer women roaming around looking like they’ve been inflated (or painted by Picasso). While silicon is still seen as the short cut to stardom, the surgery standard has improved.
3 Public transport hubs in city centres.
Cast your mind back to the old airports and train stations, and you’ll appreciate our new systems. From the Gautrain to East London’s new airport, times are changing, for the better.
4 Speciality burger places.
Yes, burgers as fine dining. These are restaurants – with proper cutlery – that have turned the humble patty into an art form, not courtesy of a drive-in. TIP: Try Hudsons in Kloof Street Cape Town
5 Springbok rugby.
Three words: Rudolph Straeuli 2003. 6 American presidents. You’ll probably “misunderestimate” how much you miss the Bushisms, but we’re grateful he’s no longer the ruler of The Free World. We may have had some rocky times recently, but we’re still genuinely in with a winning chance.
7 School homework and projects.
Do kids even know what the inside of a library resembles these days? Google and Wikipedia beats your mom’s help, every time.
8 Chip flavours.
Even though you may not be partial to snoek and atchar or chicken walkie talkie flavours, the fact that there’s much more choice than just acid tomato or salt and vinegar is hugely appreciated.
With the advent of microbreweries, premium start-ups and Do-It-Yourself kits, the market is flooded with new frothy options. The, er, “challenge” is to try every single one.
10 South African advertising.
There were some really dodgy adverts in our youth, but the new crop of ad talent is worldclass. Forget the Old Spice guy, we’ve got our own superstars (meerkats and hippos not included).
Unlike the poorly-made plastic jobs with glass lenses of old, modern shades have more tech than a lunar space mission. While there are some perennial perfomers (wayfarers or aviators anyone?), styling has stepped up as well.
12 Downtime at work
The interweb, Twitter, Facebook and Skype beat faxing jokes any day.
13 James Bond.
Compare the late cheesiness of Moore and Brosnan with the hard, take-no-crap Craig. No competition really.
14 Catching up with old friends.
Does anyone use the phone book anymore? Now old mates are only a Facebook search away. Unfortunately, so are your stalkers.
15 Developing photographs.
With digital photos and modern printers, you can avoid the smirks and sniggers (and expense) when getting film developed. Especially when it comes to the X-rated variety.
16 Air travel.
With cheaper flights, airline competition and more options to lesser-known places, holidays are easier to plan – and actually take.