When my friend moved to Denver and set up her blog I told her that that would probably inspire me to blog. It wasn’t a conscious lie, but more one of those things that I said without really thinking through to the end result. ie: it would mean me having to sit down at a computer and do something other than flick aimlessly through the collected works of the internet, otherwise known as Twitter.
Now we’re coming up to my favourite months in Greece; September in particular is beautiful because the temperatures drop but it will usually stay sunny for most of the month. The beaches empty out because most Greeks would rather register for extra taxes than swim when the temperature hasn’t hit 30 degrees. The sea is still warm from the summer and will remain so until late October, even into early November. Of course, this is all relative; after all, I spent my childhood on the east coast of Scotland.
We also move into the season known as the ‘exciting things growing on trees’ time. Pomegranates are ripening as are the citrus fruits and the olives. The first weekend in November I’ll go to Poros to collect fresh olive oil from Takis. The pistachio nuts are being harvested on Aegina and later this month there’s the Fistiki Fest on the island. I’m still excited by seeing pomegranates and pistachio nuts growing on trees.
Behind the beauty of this country lies tremendous hardship and the rise in begging, homelessness, soup kitchens and unemployment is huge. Many small, family businesses have been crushed by the economic crisis. Many people are leaving; my doctor leaves at the end of this month and my gynaecologist is also making plans to leave.
No matter how long I live here I find it difficult to get used to the lack of personal space and the barging past. From time to time I find myself mumbling in Greek, ‘excuse me, thank you, please, don’t mention it’ as yet another person pushes past me on the metro or the bus with no eye contact or other acknowledgement that I’m there. I understand that the rudeness lies only in my perception and that this is just the way that it is and that there is no intent to make my life difficult. Yet even when I join in and shove around and queue jump I don’t feel any better for it. It’s a conundrum; is there such a thing as queue jumping in a country that doesn’t recognise a queue? Probably not.