It's 1am. I know that technically I am in day 8 and not day 7 but we're going to let it slide, mmkay? At 11pm I was arriving at the airport with a sign for a "Mr. Ovul" (who turned out to be a Ms. Ovul) and the last hour and a half has been devoted to them. They were supposed to arrive at 6pm, but with all of the mess in the airports, their flight was delayed seven hours. Then pirazi. (The Greek equivalent of "Whatev's) We called up Steve who doesn't live far. We watched Luxe tv showcasing hotels in Bali and South Africa, wine cellars in Paris, and crystal collections in Prague. We criticized all of it while drinking 2 euro wine from a cardboard box.
Luxury gets boring very quickly. I think it's why the rich need so much money...how many swimming pools full of flowers can you see and still make monkey noises about it?
So someone changed the station and the news was showing footage of the strikes and protests that occured in the center of the city earlier in the day. This has been a regular occurance bu the last two have been so well publicized, cruise ships haven't even bothered docking. Fights broke out between some of the rowdier protesters and the police, and while there's little doubt in my mind that the press was wiggling it's nose, magically making it into a much more impressive mess than perhaps it was, there was definite anger going on down there.
Ding dong! Steve's father turned up, a smiling, intelliegent soul who sparkles when he talks about his time in the states. "The best thing about American church is the fellowship dinners. And pecan pie!!"
and then Steve's girlfriend came home from work. She invited us to stay for dinner. Her brother appeared at the door soon after and by 9 we were all sitting around the table slurping pan-grilled fish off of the bones and stabbing fried potatoes and salad with our forks. Steve, ever the entertainer, made a plate of crackers with danish butter topped with salmon and lemon slices, curled perfectly into little 'c's. We tarried until ten thirty and said our goodbyes.
When the Mr who is Ms. Ovul emerged from the baggage claim room with her party, it was 11:40. We took them to their posh hotel in the center of the trendiest part of town and saw something I would call impressive; a row of taxis, two lanes deep, stretching for two blocks. All were waiting for fares. The same was also true in Syntagma Square, the busiest square of the city.
G tsked and shook his head.
"This area, on a Thursday night, and it's a desert. In two months, Greece is going to be Argentina."
To explain, Athens is a night city. 12:00 is the beginning as opposed to wherever it was Cinderella lived, and once upon a time, regardless of weekday or weekend, everyone was out when the moon was high.
So there you have it, folks, straight from the source. This is Greece in an economic "crisis." Homes are full, taxis are empty. Somehow it doesn't seem like a tragedy.
On another note, I had a mission on Easter to collect the holy light from Jerusalem and light a special candle, a lambatha, for the newest little Moore, Mz. Scarlett Sophia. I sat there in a crowded, medieval courtyard waiting for the priests to arrive from their Tel Aviv flight to Athens on Olympic Air with a lantern the size of a muffler. They did, just as the light of day faded and perfect strangers were standing nose to skull. They circled the church twice chanting "Xristo Anesti" with everyone singing along in an unconvincing way (well, maybe another sign of the times) and the bells rung cacophanus. Then the light moved candle to candle until it had spread througout the courtyard.
I'm writing it now because a) I wasn't being a good "recorder" at the time of Easter like I am these last six days and b) because I just received word Scarlett has gotten her package from a farway place with a bunch of exotic stamps.
I thought Scarlett might like to see how beautiful the stores are when it's the season to sell lambathas, the personalized Easter candles usually given to children.
Signing off to go visit Morpheus.