Thursday, April 13

FAREWELL O ATHENS OF MY HEART... I WISH

I don't know about everyone else, but between the mounds of stinky garbage that are slowly consuming our fair city, the summery weather (which only serves to remind us that we could be lying on a beach somewhere), and the resulting increase in surliness one is encountering on the streets these days, I think it's about time to get the heck out of Dodge, don't you?

I mean, really, what is it that keeps everyone flocking to the big city? Is it the jobs? Cause, last time I checked, they were kind of in short supply. Is it the access to culture? If so, why is theatre, cinema and so on in decline? Does your family live here? Get them to move somewhere else with you. It shouldn't take too much convincing.

Why don't we all pack our bags and go harvest olives, peaches and ouzo on some gorgeous, sun-drenched island? Live the simple life. Drink and swim and laze and soak up the sun all day. Was it not, after all, the image of the sun-drenched island that captured our fancy and enamoured us of Greece in the first place?

I, for one, am currently planning my escape. It'll be tough. It'll be dangerous. It might even be painful. But I know for a fact that I will not live in this city forever. (More on my grand escape scheme another day... it's still in the works, though slowly coming together.)

Don't get me wrong. I am not normally among the Athens Haters. As those of you who have read my blog fairly regularly may have gathered, I actually find it an eternally fascinating city, full of spontaneous drama and hidden beauty.

So when I go, I'll make sure I have easy access to a quickie back in Athens every now and then, for when allure of sleepy island life wears thin and the big city clamours ever louder in my imagination.

But right now, in reality, the clamour of the city is getting to be a bit much.

A semi-irrelevant anecdote:
I was walking to work this morning, alternately beaming with pleasure and grimacing in horror as conflicting wafts of jasmine and putrefying garbage were blown my way, with my arms crossed across my chest cause it was a bit chilly. From the opposite direction came an decrepit, toothless old man. A few meters before our paths crossed, he started blabbering and gesticulating wildly in my direction.
Eventually I made out that he was telling me to uncross my arms. In fact, he seemed positively infuriated by my arms crossed position.
Yet another soul lost to the madness of city life? Or was I breaking some ancient Greek canon I've never heard of? (Or, though this is really stretching it, was he angered by the fact that I was denying him a view of my breasts?)

I continued on my way, dazed, murmuring over and over under my breath: "Oh, it's off to the island I go, I go! It's off to the island I go!"

Saturday, April 1

JUST ANOTHER SATURDAY

Well, another Saturday has passed over a bottle of ouzo - only today it was really SUMMERY outside, and thus a million times better than last. (For those of you reading this from Montreal and going on about how nice the weather is there, I'll have you know it was WELL into the 20's today. Ahhh.) I got a real kick from watching all the tourists who've suddenly invaded our city. There I am, still wearing a jacket etc., and they're wandering around the city (always with a really lost/helpless expression) sporting tank tops, sunhats and sunburns. OK, the weather's been nice, but surely not hot enough for sunburns??!!??
Anyway I discovered two really nice places to go out. One was called GLIKI - somewhere in some not-crowded backstreet of plaka, a kind of funky but non pretentious mezedopoleio. Great food, great atmosphera, a little of the beaten path. Perfect. Sorry I can't tell you all where it is cause those twisty Plaka streets really throw me for a loop and I'll be hard-pressed to find it again on my own. Then we went to a little bar in Exharia, and the drinks and conversation continued... till now.
The only problem with these afternoon drinking sessions is that I really don't have the energy to then go out at night. The fact that I'm not nineteen is starting to show, I think, at least internally. So instead I'm sitting here listening to all this goth/techno/dance music my little brother dumped on my computer off his portable hard drive, getting a real kick out of it. Currently playing song has the lyric "clone your lover". Ummm yeah. What can I say, it reminds me of my youth. Nothing like a bit of Covenant blasting through your headphones to clear the ouzo haze. Maybe I will go out after all!