Daily Archives: 02/12/2011

What country/time is it?

What country/time is it?

This is one of a series of such posters which are stuck on walls around Athens. There’s always this girl dragging her suitcase, on which there’s usually a Greek language word-game. This one is a play with the words country (χώρα) and time (ώρα). Thus, the question on the suitcase translates to “What country/time is it?”

Here’s a short article I wrote for the website of Ellinofreneia (a team that has a radio show at REAL FM and a website – they usually, but not always, use satire in order to express their political views) with some inspiration from the street art above. (Note: it was written addressing mainly Greek readers)

What country/time is it?

Any kind of discussion apart from the situation in Greece is irrelevant. It’s off topic. In the texts, in newspapers, on the internet, in talks with friends, everyone is discussing about the crisis. Don’t complain if your friend discuss nothing else but this. If you already complain, you’re irrelevant. The only thing that I will allow you to do apart from thinking about this situation, is to fall in love. Other than that, just talk about the crisis. Think, chew it over, even you do it for the first time in your life. Pump up some courage from the guy next to you, from the striker of Hellenic Halyvourgia (Steel company) who has denied himself almost a month’s salary. The discussion about the situation is not misery.

The situation itself is misery and without talking about it, you won’t avoid it.

You don’t need me to tell you the facts. You can see them wherever you turn your eyes on. I don’t care if I can’t see all 20.000 homeless people of this country around me, all I care is that in every pavement I can see every night one more carton for a bed. Only if you manage to feel that this carton has a bigger value than the paper of a bind, will you realize what’s going on around you. You will re-read on it the word bankruptcy.

A group of friends was talking a while ago in a tavern at Dekeleias Avenue. At first they talked about the crisis. Then about the trips they want to do. Later on again about the crisis. Afterwards about the celebrity journalists. In the end, again, about the crisis. One felt the need to act, another was in despair, a third was afraid of a possible coup d’ etat, the fourth was talking about conspiracies. They were later narrating stories that shocked them.

A well-dressed man, around his 60s, approached us when we were in Mavili square. He had a cheese pie in a small paper bag, placed in the inner pocket of his suit, exactly where he used to hide his wallet. He asked for money with his head lowered from shame. Then he looked at us, hardly keeping his tears in his eyes, and said: “Be careful, kids! You can’t imagine how easily life can turn upside down”.

“Enough”, said Anastasia. You can’t stay uninvolved. It’s time you choose sides.