Πέμπτη, Ιουλίου 21, 2005

Ενας Αμερικανος στην Ελλαδα

καλα καλα το ξερω οτι ειναι λιγο κιτς να βαζεις περιγραφες ξενων για την Ελλαδα. Αλλα αυτη εδω εχει πλακα και μερικες πολυ καλες παρατηρησεις

Ξεκιναει το ταξιδι απο την Κεα (Τζια). Ερχονται οι γνωστες ατακες για το ποσο μπλε ηταν το νερο. Εκει που δεν το περιμενεις ομως, ερχεται μια καλη παρατηρηση:

In Greece, there is no drinking age, and people as young as thirteen will start drinking. Very important, that, he said, for it means that they can ease into it, and under the guidance of their elders. In America, by contrast, underage drinking is furtive, and explodes at the "magic age" in a way that leads at best to binge drinking and at worst to the quick onset of alcoholism.

Παντα το πιστευα αυτο. Οι Αμερικανοι δεν το χουν καταλαβει, οπως βεβαια και σχεδον ολος ο κοσμος στο θεμα της μαριχουανας: η μετρημενη ελεγχομενη χρηση ειναι σχεδον χωρις προβληματα, οι απαγορευσεις φερνουν καταχρησεις και ανεξελεγκτες συμπεριφορες...

μετα μια αστεια παρατηρηση, παλι στην Τζια:

While chatting we noticed one of those little details that makes travel so neat: The island's taxi is a Mercedes-Benz. "How does a Mercedes wind up being a taxi?" Clay asked. Of course, we had to make up an answer. It wasn't much: Rich American comes to Greece and instead of renting a car, buys it outright. Then discovers that his dot-com fortune has evaporated, leaving him penniless and assetless, except for this Mercedes. Instead of selling it and running tail-tucked to the States, he uses it as a home/taxi to try to scrape out a living in Greece.

οπου για εναν Αμερικανο η χρηση μιας Μερτσεντες σαν ταξι ειναι αξιοσημειωτη. Σε μας κατι νορμαλ, στην Γερμανια ειναι ο κανονας 99%. πολιτισμικες διαφορες...

ο συγγραφεας παει μεσω Αθηνων προς Δελφους με μια σταση, που αλλου? Στα:

McDonalds?! Oh well, it gives us a chance to see what McCulture looks like in a different environment. Three bows to local custom: Heinekin on tap along with Coke; something called a McShaker (Greek salad in a plastic cup), and the Greek Mac: Two all-beef patties, special sauce (tadzhiki), tomatoes, onions on a slab of heated pita bread. Had that with fries. It tastes about like it sounds: vaguely interesting.

ταχετε ακουσει και στο Παλπ Φιξιον. Εχουν παντως πλακα οι μικροδιαφορες. Να δηλωσω οτι Γκρηκ Μακ υπαρχει και στην Ισπανια...

Τρενο προς Θεσ/νικη:

Hell is where the police are German, the mechanics French, the cooks English, the lovers Swiss, and everything is organized by the Greeks.
Possibly the tightened EU has the Greeks trying to live down their reputation, for the train was early and run with the kind of brisk panic usually associated with a French surrender. (Okay, yeah, that was uncalled for, but I have become so conscious of the truth of the phrase "ugly American" that I have little compunction about celebrating some other national vices.) Five of us were almost stranded on the platform because we took to long to laod, and the doors had snapped shut and the train accelerated to nearly 70mph before we had even found our way into the main compartment. We each then grabbed an empty seat, only to be turned out in uproar at the next station when we discovered it was assigned seating (as on a plane) and that most of us were seats reserved by people boarding at the next stop. In fact, we were all of us in the wrong car, and there was much trampling on toes while trying to get it all sorted out.

Αθανατος ΟΣΕ... (99% τα χειροτερα τρενα στην ΕΕ).

Θεσσαλονικη: Most of the city was gutted by a fire in 1920, so everthing is "new" and therefore hideous in the way that only a combination of 20th century architecture and Third World poverty can achieve.

αδικο εχει? αλλα με λιγη αναζητηση

we discovered the secret to Thessaloniki: The main boulevards are crap, lined with expensive and crowded shops, where even the pedestrians on the sidewalks are in danger of being run down by motorized vehicles. Behind the tall buildings, however, lurks something of the village atmosphere of Kea and Delphi.


Speaking of dysfunctional avenues, let me tell you about the streets around here. I don't think there's a straight, four-cornered intersection in the place. It's all 3 and 5 way interchanges, where one-way streets don't so much intersect as crash into each other. Every third vehicle is a moped or a motorcycle, and when one goes past I have to laugh when I think of America's ten-year olds swaddled up in helmets and padding when they go skateboarding. Because around here I haven't seen a single crash helmet, and the guys on choppers think nothing of weaving in and out of traffic at 40 mph, or driving up onto a tree-lined sidewalk to avoid a collision.
Nor do there seem to be any parking regulations. Cars will park on the sidewalk if there isn't space at the curb, and if they can't get onto the sidewalk they will double part inside an intersection or roundabout, half-blocking the traffic flow.

χωρις λογια...

The social differences are also striking. Not that I've become an expert on the Greek character -- I can't speak the lingo and have not had much interaction with the people -- but there are certain things you can't help but pick up on. Physically, they all do look alike: dark haired and beetle-browed with olive skin and very white teeth (when it isn't stained by nicotine). The older women like to dye their hair an auburn blonde (κιτσαρια νουμερο ενα για μενα, πλατινε μαλλια με εντελως ασχετη επιδερμιδα και μεγαλα μαυρα φρυδια), while the younger ones wear it long and tucked back in a ponytail. Long term diet has an enormous effect on the body, so I don't know what it means that there is a such a difference between the older and younger poplulations. Do the young people turn into the old people, or are the young people the beneficiaries of the better diet associated with rising living standards? Anyway, the older people tend to be short and dumpy -- the women especially look like Russian scrubwomen, with curranty eyes, pursed lips and flabby upper arms -- while the young girls are tall and slim and curve in places that someone clearly intended to fit snugly into a man's cupped hand.

χαχαχα πολυ καλη παρατηρηση...

The guys (Σημ.: μιλαει για τους Σαλονικιους!) are real lookers too, I suppose, and the behavior of the women in our own group tends to corroborate the impression. E., at an outdoor cafe, coolly apprises a clutch of young blades, drags on her cigarette as they pass, and brazenly announces, "I want one of those."
"Which one?"
"Any of them. All of them."

δεν ξερω για ποιους αντρες μιλαει... ισως οντως οι Αμερικανοι εχουν γινει τοσο ασχημοι οσο τους θελει το στερεοτυπο, ωστε να τα βλεπουν ολα ωραια στην Ευρωπη :-)

Nor have American ideals of ethnic tolerance reached these shores. Greece is at the tip of the Balkans -- you know, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania -- and has absorbed a lot of Albanian refugees. I don't speak Greek, so I don't know what they say amongst themselves about the influx, but even to visiting guests like us they can be quite frank about their dislike of the refugees. I suppose if a humanitarian crisis brought several million desperately poor people to the US in a hurry -- as the collapse of the Castro thuggocracy in Cuba may yet do -- I'm sure it would cause similar feelings of anger and hatred. But I'm sure that no one -- least of all a politician -- would say so in public. Here it seems to be conventional wisdοm that the Albanians do not and will never belong.

Σωστος. Καποτε νομιζα οτι στην Ελλαδα απλα ειμαστε πολυ ειλικρινεις ενω αλλου κρυβουν τον (υπαρχοντα) ρατσισμο τους. Αλλα κατι Ψωμιαδηδες αλλα δειχνουν...

Now, I've said the Greeks are beautiful people, and the cuisine is excellent, and the climate gorgeous. But there's a lack of variety that is ultimately wearying. They are all handsome, but in exactly the same way. Cloudless Mediterranean day follows directly on cloudless Mediterranean day. The restaurants serve the same few dishes built on the same few ingredients: Greek salad (country salad, they call it around here), tadzhiki, souvlaki, calamari, octopus, gyros (interesting, that -- they put the fries inside the sandwich -- olives, bread and wine.

Εξαιρετικη παρατηρηση! Και αυτο νομιζω διαπερνα την ελληνικη κοινωνια σε πολλα θεματα. Κολλαμε σε λιγα συγκεκριμενα πραγματα, που μαλιστα πιστευουμε οτι ειναι τα καλυτερα στον κοσμο! Φαϊ? Σχεδον κανεις δεν μαγειρευει κατι νεο, μονο ελληνικο αντε ιταλικο. Κρασι? Ελληνικο, αντε γαλλικο (Ισπανια, Πορτογαλλια, Λ.Αμερικη, Καλιφορνια, Αυστραλια δεν υπαρχουν για μας). Διακοπες? Νησακι, αντε καμμια ευρωπαϊκη πολη τον χειμωνα (μας μενουν 4 ηπειροι ακομα).

Περιπλεοντας το Αγιο Ορος:
And when I say "monasteries" I actually mean castles and palaces and basilicas perched on towering bluffs, mostly unapproachable by land and sea. [...] Cataracts of gold and silver poured across the Golden Horn and went to support ecclesiastical institutions that even the popes might find excessive. Remember the Naboo palace in Episodes I and II? Think of that design, and built on that scale. Repeated dozens of times.

χεχε (και ακομα δεν εχω παει ρε γμτ!). αλλα υπηρχε και χρονος για σοβαρες σκεψεις...

it's the ban on women that ticked most everyone off. The comments ranged from dark mutterings about "Taliban culture" to satirical musings like: "What would the monks do if a boatload of Miss Universe contestants were shiprocked on the rocks below?"
To which I find myself saying: Hard cheese.
Look, I tak a backseat to no one in deploring the cruelty visited upon women in the Arab nations; believe that the toppling of the Taliban was one of the greatest blows for womens' lib; and think that the sooner the Saudis are smacked in the ass with a "rat's tail" made of their own kayyiffs, the happier and safer the world at large will be.
But this isn't a country the monks are running, nor is it a country club. It's their own private retreat that they've set up, and they get to set the rules. Nor is it a tourist resort -- if they let some people on and exclude others, it's because they get to extend the invitation, not because they are required to open their doors to whoever knocks.
So to say it is stupid and grotesque and immoral for them to exclude some category of people from this retreat is as bad as to say it is stupid and grotesque and immoral for you to exclude some category of people from your own living room. Yes, it is. But so what? It's your space. Start bossing people around in their own homes, and you've completely abolished the notions of privacy and free association. [...] When people disagree about fundamentals, it is best not to press the point, to let the disagreeing parties preserve some amount of space. Otherwise, you risk acting like the Taliban -- forcing other people to live up to your ideals.

απλα μαθηματα φιλελευθερης σκεψης... (οσο κιαν μου την σπαει το φρικτο Αβατο του Αγιου Ορους)

Πισω στην Θεσ/νικη: Thessaloniki has grown on me -- from being a hot urban desolation built of ugly towers on a polluted harbor, to a city of small alleys and markets built on a human scale -- where ever you are, you can find what you need within a few blocks. The traffic remains horrendous, but it is built more like a series of small villages that have grown outward and upward, than like an American city where stores, restaurants, parks and homes are separated by vast parking lots and boulevards that force you to use a car.

μια τρομερη παρατηρηση (διαβαστε εδω ολη την ιστορια):

We can go anywhere and do anything as long as we don't ask permission. Once you treat the bureaucrats like they have a right to bully and delay you, you're sunk.

Στην Ελλαδα τιμωρειται μονο οποιος παει να σεβαστει τον νομο. Θες να χτισεις νομιμα? Θα σου παρει 50 μηνες, 3-4 λαδωματα και παλι θα φας προστιμο. Χτιζεις αυθαιρετο? Εξασφαλισμενη νομιμοποιηση χωρις πολλα πολλα...

Θεσ/νικη εναντιον Αθηνας:
The paradox of Thessaloniki is that it is a very new city crammed with very old things. The paradox of Athens is that it is a very old city that has very little in it that is old.

και ενα καλο σχολιο
The Greek Parliament building, of today. Not much to look at, is it? Andy tells a European joke: "One German, a scientist; two Germans, a bureaucracy; three Germans, a war. One Italian, a lover; two Italians, an opera; three Italians, a retreat. One Englishman, a fool; two Englishmen, a club; three Englishmen, a colony. One Greek, a Prime Minister; two Greeks, two Prime Ministers; three Greeks, three Prime Ministers."
I think a hundred Prime Ministers in one spot (στην Βουλη) would demand a better building.

μπουαχαχαχαχαχα. πολυ καλο...
Και κλεινουμε με:

Athens in a nutshell. Lots of potential, squat for a payoff.

8 σχόλια:

Phantasmak είπε...

Την έψαξε καλά όσο καιρό έκατσε. Περιμένω να γράψει τίποτε και η Αμερικανοπακιστανή στο blog της για την Αθήνα. Δεν έχει σύνδεση στην Ελλάδα.

The Passenger είπε...

Εγώ νόμιζα ότι οι Ελληνες και ειδικά οι βόρειοι ήταν ξανθή ράτσα....μάλλον έκανα λάθος.

Πολύ οξυδερκείς παρατηρήσεις-μου άρεσε ιδιαίτερα το πως περίγραψε την διάταξη της πόλης-πολλά αστικά κέντρα που μεγάλωσαν και έσμιξαν (οργανικά θα μπορούσε να πει κάποιος) σε αντίθεση με το σύστημα των "τεχνητών" βάσει σχεδίου Αμερικανικών πόλεων.

neTpen είπε...

Πολύ ενδιαφέρουσα ματιά! :) Ακριβής, σε πολλά!

pinky and the brain είπε...

δύο πράγματα του έχουν διαφύγει καθώς ήταν λίγο καιρό εδώ. εγώ που έχω παραμείνει έχω να προσθέσω αυτά τα δύο φαινόμενα: ότι οι έλληνες φτήνουν και κατουράν παντού. μα τι κακό είναι αυτό? αυτό το χχχχ φτου από μπαλκόνια, στο δρόμο, απ'τα αυτοκίνητα, στη θάλασσα... είναι αηδιαστικό.
το κατούρημα δε των αντρών είναι άνω ποταμών. όπου βρουν τοιχάκι ή δέντρο, κατουράνε. εδώ στη βασ.σοφίας απέναντι απ'το γραφείο μου άπειρες φορές απ'το παράθυρό μου τους βλέπω απέναντι στη γωνία στον τοίχο του νιμιτσ να κατουράνε. ή όταν οδηγείς εκτός αθηνών είναι επί του δρόμου. δεν κάνουν καν προσπάθεια να πάνε πίσω από δέντρο. ή σε λιγότερο κεντρικούς δρόμους μέσα στη μέρα τους πετυχαίνεις συνήθως σε τοίχο.
simply disgusting and 3rd world, και λυπάμαι αν θίγω κανέναν, αλλά έτσι είναι

S G είπε...

χεχε πινκυ ο ανθρωπος εκανε καπως πιο βαθιες παρατηρησεις. Αυτα τα εντελως καθυστερημενα νομιζω επιτηδες τα κρυβε ή τεσπα πιστευε οτι ειναι στον τριτο κοσμο οποτε τανεχοταν...

παντως για το κατουρημα δηλωνω υπευθυνα οτι η Ελλαδα ειναι πολυυυ καλυτερη απο Ισπανια, Γερμανια, Αγγλια, Ολλανδια. μονο που αυτοι κατουρανε το βραδυ οταν μεθανε, οχι μερα μεσημερι (μα σοβαρα στον τοιχο του ΝΙΜΙΤΣ?? μπουαχαχαχα)

pinky and the brain είπε...

το ξέρω ότι έκανε πιο βαθιές παρατηρήσεις, αλλά έπρεπε να πω κι εγώ τον πόνο μου και είπα να το κάνω ως comment εδώ παρά ως ξεχωριστώ post :)

Ανώνυμος είπε...

Έτσι, έτσι!!! Βαρβατίλα σε όλο της το μεγαλείο γουστάρω!

pinky and the brain είπε...

άλλο η βαρβατίλα άλλο η καφρίλα...

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