A hilarious thing happened to me yesterday. A foreign photojournalist asked me whether Greece has sold any of its islands in its effort to reduce its debt. Before I answer he said “Oh yes, it has sold one indeed. I’ve read a year ago that Apple bought a Greek island. And they then renamed it after its operating system for iPhones!” [ie iOS]. I started laughing and told him that this is not a true story but he didn’t believe me. I told him that this was definitely some kind of internet hoax, that the government can sell only small, tiny, uninhabited islands and that the Greek island of Ios, which exists indeed, has inhabitants who have been owning properties on the island for generations and that they wouldn’t sell them collectively to Apple. He understood the logical argument but he still didn’t seem eager to believe me. “But I’ve read it somewhere, I’m sure about it!” he insisted.
For the history of it, Ios is an island of 2.000 inhabitants in Cyclades island complex. It has always been called like that – according to Herodotus Ios is the burial place of Homer.
I posted this incident on my Facebook profile and kept laughing all night with the comments of my friends. We noticed that near Ios there is also the island of Milos (Milo in Greek is the word for Apple). We imagined some smartphone competition with another Cycladic island, called Andros (for Android users). And that IKEA might soon buy the island of Kea. All real, inhabited islands bearing huge marketing possibilities for the global brands. One of my friends spotted that the Ios hoax comes from an April fools’ day joke of a Swedish website (of Dagens Industri financial newspaper), published in April 2012. They were even joking about Magganari, one of the islands most famous beaches, being renamed to iBeach.
During our work with the photojournalist we interviewed a Greek woman who was saying that the crisis is in South Europe only for the moment. That the northern countries will soon have their own financial crisis and all the goodies that come with it. And then I imagined Finland in crisis. Desperate for cash to repay its debt and having its already high suicide rate quadrupled by the economic turmoil. And then, the Finnish state will decide to sell its province of Karelia to a Greek tobacco industry who will liberalise smoking laws, allowing a fag even during open heart surgeries.