Pull out the synth-pop keyboard and play a victory march! The 80s are here to stay.
Yesterday I realised I was plum out of currency, so it was time for a trip to the money changer. As I was waiting at the window of my preferred babushka (consistently good rate, short walk from home, located in a rather unsuccessful, thus quiet, mobile phone shop ergo low post-exchange crime rate), I was surprised to find myself not only humming, but also bopping along to the song on the radio.
Hello 1989! It was ‘Pump up the Jam’ by Technotronic.
I don’t remember much of the 80s, but I did achieve a lot in that decade: I learned to talk, walk, dress myself, chew food and eventually learned to wipe my bottom, to my mother’s joy.
There were some drawbacks to being an infant in the 80s, though – my fingers were too small to master the Atari joystick, mum said I was too young to watch BMX Bandits, and when I was five, my sister devised a rather embarrassing dance routine for me to perform to ‘Physical’ by Olivia Newton-John. It involved big hair, lycra and leg-warmers. I’m still trying to live down the pictures.
Living in the Kyiv-80s time-warp gives me a chance to re-live the 80s as a grown up. Somewhere, in this parallel 1989 universe, on the other side of the world, an embarrassed nine-year-old me is sitting in my primary school library in shame, being forced to apologise to the class after accidentally farting. (In my defence, I had two older brothers. I didn’t realise it was taboo to fart in public). Here in Kyiv, however, the grown-up me is getting acquainted with mullets, tassles, and A-Ha; and singing along to ‘Pump up the Jam’ by Technotronic.
Here’s hoping I enjoy the 80s; I can make up for my meltdown in 1986 when, at the age of six, my favourite tune was ‘You’re the Voice’ by John Farnham. There was no dance routine to that one, just lots of heartfelt gesticulation and lip-syncing.
Oh, is that the time? I have to go to my jazzercise class.