Took some Greek Australians on a madcap city tour today. Started with losing the yountest on the Acropolis. (Not my fault.) Went sprinting from the Propyleon to the Theater of Dionysus to find him sitting there, just chillin' with the security guard. His mother gave him some honest to goodness verbal lashings, in Greek and heavily Australianized English. As we collected the rest of the family, they all took a turn. Poor guy tried to justify. "It's not my fault I got lost," but they had been scared, and when people get scared they sometimes get angry.
There is an old man that sits at the bottom of the Acropolis. Every day he dresses up in traditional village costume and poses with a giant, gnarled stick. If you take a picture of him, he demands a Euro. If you don't give it to him, he gets aggressive. If you do, he's your best friend.
The second son tricked him by saying a polite "excuse me" and Click! THWAP! The old man whacked him with his stick. I'm not kidding! And I saw him do a kung fu yoda like leap to try and give him another. In any other country this would have been reported. His mother said:
"You probably deserved it."
I think that said boy is going to cherish his photograph for the rest of his life. It wasn't free, you know. Getting a beating is paying for it.
Next up, demonstrations in the city center made for a lot of walking. Cue giant thunderstorm. The first in over a month! These people must have some karma... but they were laughing and enjoying themelves. They were the quintessential good sports.
They were fascinated on the subject of gypsies. "How do you know when you see one!?"
I gave the identifying factors:
*Accordian strapped to back or tray of plastic toys in front.
*Keeps eyes firmly fixed on pockets.
I gave my argument that it's difficult to call these people bad when they're just doing what they've been taught since they were tiny. Steal, Lie, Beg.
They act like a tribe. Strike against one and you've got the whole fleet on your back. If one's in the hospital they all bring their cots, their music, their dishes and camp in front until he/she is released.
I always thought if I had a family I'd want it to be a bit like that.
Forgive the short post. I did another one today:
I'm kind of worn out. Things are a little blurry and I'm doing it again tomorrow.
See you then.