Tuesday, June 9, 2015


The lawlessness baffles me. Cars parked anywhere, anyhow, blocking sidewalks, crosswalks, corners. Pedestrians have no rights. Watch out or you'll lose your head! Trolleys and buses are ridden without paying. No control whatsoever. Smoking is theoretically banned indoors but everyone smokes in cafes, bars, restaurants. An ashtray disguised as a cup is provided.

The despair is more palpable than it used to be. Yet, nothing changes. Why is it so trying for me to spend more than a day here?

The apartment is too small, too cramped for three women. Did you know that there is no Greek word for "privacy"?

Today I discovered Syntagma Square's café. Nice to sit and people-watch. All kinds of tourists and natives go by. A man wearing just black shorts was lying down on the ground as if at the beach. Yesterday I met the Greek director Nikos Koundouros at his house. What a diva! But fun too. Likes to surround himself with young, pretty women. We watched his latest film and then went to a café nearby for "raki". His acolytes came and went. His film "O Drakos" from the 1950s is legendary.

Have I mentioned the insane, with no planning, building of high rises everywhere? Big, white, cement boxes crowding narrow streets. Ugly. Where are the majestic 19th century residences and mansions? What happened to the beautiful edifices of yesterday? So many are crumbling and falling apart. Some are taken over illegally by artists for performances, exhibits, cultural works.

And an earthquake woke me up at 4 a.m. when my bed shook side to side. Whoa! I said, what's happening? I got up, looked at my mother sleeping peacefully in the living room, and decided it must be ok. Should I run out? Will there be more tremors? It better not happen again. Please!

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