More thoughts on Greece

  • I read today that Greece is going to receive another €2.8 billion from its eurozone creditors. Of that, €1.1 billion will be used to pay interest on debts and €1.7 billion to clear debt arrears. OK, Greece played fast and loose with its economy and the rest of the EU over a couple of decades . . . but is this really the best way of proceeding?
  • Meanwhile, out-of-town bin collections only happen sporadically, while the stink grows.
  • Buying stamps is still a labour-intensive and time-consuming business. Four employees, one counter open, ten minutes.
  • img_8447The private realm in the countryside and suburbs is often idyllic: little foursquare houses with jasmine and bougainvillea and a selection of orange, lemon, olive and loquat trees in the garden. The public realm, in contrast, is often neglected. The FE college, for example, was shabby and dusty; the church next to it was bright and freshly painted. Moreover dumped rubbish and lack of maintenance has always been a problem.
  • To contradict myself, the public realm is sometimes subject to a ludicrously grandiose scheme (of which the most egregious must be the 2004 Olympic games); on a future visit I look forward to the new mole to accommodate XXL cruise ships and the 10-metre stretch of new beach at the foot of some cliffs (both in the local paper).
  • People over 60 or so always used to be sombrely, even funereally, dressed, but nowadays it’s not uncommon to see an older woman in bright colours or sequins and older men in shorts. I wonder if they experienced a feeling of liberation as they ignored tradition?
  • I have to keep my eyes on the ground when walking anywhere – there are so many uneven or slippery surfaces that a twisted ankle and dignity in tatters are never far away.
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