Phase two : Adapting…

Day, whatever…
20:36 on 01 August 2008

Well, apart from the insanity that is my life, its all been a bit too full on to be doing this typing thing lately. Works been mental, life’s been mental, I’ve been mental, and well, mental things have been, well, mental I guess…

E's a Dude - Birthday 01

Ok, so its your Birthday, now grow up...!

I managed to survive another birthday, this my first and probably many here in Greece. Managed to get absolutely car crash wrecked on the generosity of the Athens folk… Who ever they were…

But seriously, who ever you were, thanks. One day soon I’ll remember bits about the night and wonder even more…

So, apart from my dear friend, who shall remain nameless for legal reasons…😀 – who managed to leave my washed clothes in the back of a Taxi in Exarhia, I’m ok. Having come here with little else other than myself and a few items of clothes, I now find myself here with little else other than my good self these days…

On the upside, its prompted me to acquire a new outlook on the few items I was left with, the ability to feel almost completely naked as a being would be a fairly good assumption on my state, plus, I’ve been fortunate now to have to get some more clothes and to explore the inner depths of Athens for places that sell things other than Alcohol… And guess what, Wow, there’s a whole new world here…

I also have managed to secure a place of residence in Galatsi, a nice area that suits me, not to mental compared to the haven of ill repute that is Exarhia. I’ll miss it…😦

Fortunate work will always pull me here and the fresh challenge I now must face is having to pass my locals to get to the bus stop to get home, my ultimate fear is that I will now be paying for a Flat to live in and still be living in my favourite little drunken den!

Ho hum…

So, been shopping, i now have a kettle and, – AND a frappe whisker thingy, whatever their called. My first one… Awwww…
Shame I’m not into Frappe’s yet, well, apart from ones lacced with Baileys, they rock and roll…However on the upside also, Greek people will see my commitment to the cause… And of course be able to have Frappe’s in my groovy ickle garden…

Yay. . . Just been sourcing accessories and BBQ’s for an eventual house warming type thing, no idea when, as there may be many, but if your in Greece feel free to say hi and pop by if your in the hood now as Ii have a spare room to accommodate even the fattest people…😀

Have been busy with work, web work and poster designs, still working on bits of the site but am having to chase up elements of the system to get info from which isn’t easy here, work scares a few of the people I work with, even watching me work makes some of them queasy…

Fortunately we have a mid break so things get a little easier and I can finally have some ‘me’ time. Getting my pad sorted is number one priority, then getting my stuff, my puddytats over and seeing my friends and family in the UK soon for a quick visit will also be cool… So hopefully see you all soon, either in the UK, in my garden or in my world somewhere…

All the best to all,

Si

😀

8th of the 8th of the 8th… at 8 seconds past 8 minutes at…Whatever!
15:17 on 08 August 2008

Superstitious, I am.

Not sure why or of what but I just am, I tend to avoid walking under ladders not because I fear that one day it will have an adverse effect on my life, more because i fear a fat useless builder will either fall on me or drop something from high above.

I don’t break mirrors as a rule either, not only could it get expensive, but you have to replace them, you could cut yourself in the process and to get all the bits up is annoying and dangerous too. I have accidentally smashed a few mirrors in my lifetime and bizarrely enough, I’ve had bad luck throughout my life.

I don’t blame the mirrors though for my poor judgement at times, nor do I blame it for the deaths of those around me who have passed on through old age and illness, I neither blame the mirrors for me picking particularly bad girlfriends in the past either, some we’re great and life just wasn’t to be however blaming these unfortunate incidents on a mirror is somewhat foolish to say the least. It would be far easier to blame the toaster or the socks that I was wearing that morning, however then I’d be having to buy a new toaster and not be wearing many socks…

Is it superstition or common sense…? Who knows…

The 8th of the 8th of the 8th, is there anything memorable or fantastic about it or is it just another obvious day and time frame that will happen and was always meant to happen…

Good luck, maybe, bad luck, possibly, but should we not make our own luck, if that’s possible then I hope to make mine here in Greece where I failed in the UK.

It seems that we always have to make something out of nothing as a species, today’s media spirals this out of control in an attempt to have us discuss more and more irrelevant issues in life. I don’t recall the 7th of the 7th of the 7th last year being anything special, or the year before that or did I miss the bigger picture. Was my life so badly affected because of these dates or was I just unlucky in life anyway…

Will we ever know, I hope not, I quite like blindly wandering through life and all it has to give and take with myself thinking that everything happens for a reason, a reason we should never understand or appreciate.

Is there any point to this, well no. However I do feel compelled to write about this, is this the effects of today washing all over my body, something so strong and powerful driving me to write such trivial and benign, pointless waffle in a vague attempt to solve the mysteries of the universe or is this a result of being so utterly bored out of my mind that the thought of such trivia is the only thing keeping my frail mind focussed on reality…

Do I care, do you, does anyone, and further more, will we ever know… Should we know or should we all erase our brains from such simplistic foolery, ignore the media and its futile attempts to make news out of nothing when there are so many real stories that don’t even get covered. This is for many reasons, some due to lack of opportunity, some due to censorship and some due to the fact that the truth would scare us and leave us in a complete state of panic, instead we dine on a diet of celebrity horsesh*te, sporting trivia, inane stupidity and whatever else the media machine feeds us.

If you didn’t realise it, there’s a little more to the world, our lives and the way we live as a species that is slightly more important than whether or not the 8th is going to make a difference to our lives.

Despite all this though, we still read such trivia…

Case proved!😀

Greeks, well their just like normal people, but Greek I suppose…
16:14 on 15 September 2008

So, living abroad…Its a bit like being in a goldfish bowl till you accustom yourself to the language and the cultural differences, certainly at first it feels surreal, you know your there, but you just can’t interact with much.

E's a Greek - 01

Etsi (Its just the way it is...!)

Greece in particular has a madness about itself that means even for most Greeks they often appear to be invisible, this is most obvious when you try and get on or off a bus a train or into a taxi. There are times when you wonder if they’d just so much as climb over you than miss whatever it is they’re trying to cram themselves into. This isn’t just common place in Greece of course, Antwerp and London are similarly as mental, however they at least seem to know that they are climbing over you as they do.

A lack of spacial awareness is something else that I’ve noticed more than anywhere else in the world, don’t be surprised if while your waiting for a bus you begin to feel someone pressed up against you as you wait despite having meters of room to find somewhere else to be. Its not that its on purpose, its just something that happens without due thought.

As for the roads and pavements, as a pedestrian its bad enough but for a motorist it must be hell, people will happily stand in the middle of the road, on the wrong side of the road and use the main street as the pavement to get somewhere when needed. Bus lanes don’t seem to exist, however when road laws seem to be largely non existent anyway, why bother worrying about things like buses.

Also at times it seems like there’s a silent competition that develops between people whilst waiting for the bus. The one who can get furthest into oncoming traffic wins. Reams of people fighting it out to get into the road lest the bus not see them… No fear, and no surrender…

Dodging things in Greece has become a hobby of mine, its seems to be quite popular as well as everyone seems to enjoy the near death experiences that being out in public can bring you on your daily travels. Bikes, cars, buses and lorries all routinely make up the numbers in the game of life, and it truly must be a game here by all accounts.

When you’ve seen a whole family including newborn baby, mum and dad dicing with death on a 20 year old moped in the centre of Athens, its clear that it can’t be real, surely no one would risk destroying a whole family lineage over a frivolous disregard for safety.

People riding motorbikes of all sizes and either being on their mobile or eating as their helmet hangs leisurely from their elbows is common place, you wouldn’t think it was against the law, (which I’m assured it is) by the numbers doing it. Its more a fashion accessory to those wishing to have their heads spread all over the roads in the event of something accidental befalling them, something to impress with or somewhere to to store extra items as they dash from kiosk to kiosk, bar to bar.

As for drink driving… At night especially it seems common place and almost mandatory from the numbers you see on the roads. The Police fail to do anything as I expect it would involve having to do some work or something like that, and this would result in them having to take time out of their strict time scale that requires they intimidate as many people as they can for no reason at all.

Food is somewhat of a speciality that Greeks will happily endure for as long as it comes, something that I found strange at first, but now love.

Coming from a country that virtually throws you out the minute you seem to have finished, its different, completely. Having the luxury of being able to actually enjoy and taste what it is you’ve ordered is great, sometimes as I found out, food almost does last all day, certainly when you take into account your task of trying to get out, pay and say goodbye to people. One day will soon not be enough…

The 24 hour culture that I am now an active member of though is great, time seems to be a thing of the past in Greece, as things just happen when they do, with or without reason.

Greeks, I’m a big fan anyway, the people I have met on the whole are great, they either try and embrace you and your life or they appear scared and try not to get too involved. They are often weary of their English ability despite speaking better than many UK citizens that I know, and despite the Greek language being from another Planet, most of the advertising is in English, or Greeklish which as complex to work out than the enigma code at times.

I’m slowly learning the language. Leave me in a bar and I’ll not only survive, but I’ll usually know everyone by the end of the night, however try and decipher what two Greeks are saying and well, it’s like understanding the chattering s of two Martians on Cocaine. Sometimes the language seems to stream together to form a wall of word, not words as its often difficult to hear a break in what they say, however this is something I expect of most languages, and I know many have said the same of English.

At least it doesn’t have too much in way of slang so in some aspects it should be to the point, if only slightly mind blowing as well.

The women deserve a special section to cover them as they are truly something special here, I will endeavour to cover that later in the next instalment of my Greek observations.

For now, as I sit sitting, watching the world go by, enjoying the flurry of “Malaka’s” being thrown about with undue care, I shall kindly reflect on the good, strange and unusual that has befallen me so far…

See you soon…

(Untitled)
17:15 on 29 September 2008

Well, its another day I’m told…

Its Monday, 3:11pm, I’m at work, been here since Sunday 11:00am, been home once two hours ago to change clothes and sort myself out, got back and am consciously trying to force myself awake with Coffee, cigarettes, Iced Tea, chocolate chip biscuits, coffee, and some serious tunes. Started off nice and mellow as I thought that would be gentler on my head and general state of being, but had to resort to some Faithless, ‘tearing off tights with my teeth’, Rage against the Machine, ‘Bombtrack’ and ‘killing in the name of’, to Ferry Corsten’s ‘punk’ which has just this second ended. Now begins The Verve’s new ‘love is noise’, which is my new vice tune wise at present…

E's a Dude - 14b

The result of throwing some shapes...

Completely Irrelevant I know but, nice to see they never lost the spark and vibe they had for the new material.

So, meanwhile still in ‘just awake-land’ is me, half wanting to have a mental one and be somewhere clubbing or thrashing out a riff, and half Perry Comatose, wanting to pass out in a hot bath being massaged by God himself.

Well, I haven’t the courage to even attempt a thesis or description of Greek women today as mentioned in my previous post as i feel my weakened state could cloud my thoughts, my mind, my body, my judgement and my self control, wherever that hides itself!

So, the weekend. Well, it was. Its definitely been a weekend, I wouldn’t say a good one here weather wise particularly, however fairly mad in one way or another. Currently working on a new modified loading section for a website, part transferring and organising files between dinosaur PC’s.

Once we upgrade shortly, I wouldn’t mind having them carbon dated to see what their running on. I think my nan’s sturdy wrought iron typewriter, (which incidentally was used for the idea of the typewriter in the Flintstones) had more memory.

I’m also working on a simple catalogue of handcrafts and a myspace layout for a local client who makes them and is hoping to get more exposure online, details will be forthcoming… but they trade as BKCorner and are on myspace if you want to see what they do, the page has only just been acquired but it features a selection of their wares.

In other aspect’s its been very good on the whole, have a very good friend who knows a few of the right people in my industry to introduce me to a few new potential clients shortly, as well as meeting some truly amazing people on here recently as well.

What I love most about creativity and individualism is that it makes you appreciate all the potential good that exists between people out of a genuine interest and flair in what they do, what they are, and in the things they believe in and aspire to be.

When you meet some people who make a difference in your life and you know deep down that they are always who they seem to be, and who they intended to be its a fantastic feeling. The world is full of so many rich, vibrant and colourful people that if you look deep enough you never cease to be amazed. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does its a really good feeling. One I’ve had recently over many different aspects of life and its many levels.

Since coming to Greece the beginning was very difficult. Till you do it yourself you’ll never truly understand what its like to move to another country, especially if it has as language as rich and different to others such as Greek is to French or German. Not only in the way its structured but the letters were devised by an ancient alien race who were completely stoned out of their minds at the time anyway.

The hardest part is being able to look at the words and switch off your perception of what you expect them to be, when you see a ‘p’ and recognise it as an ‘r’, and a ‘n’ is a ‘v’, then your on the right track. Pronouncing it for an Englishman is like trying to learn saxophone with no lips, at first you look stupid and sound ridiculous, but then after a while you look stupid and sound ridiculous.

I’d say it gets easier the more you use it, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, ‘malaka’, are the words that for many make up the everyday verbal soup that gets it flowing for many, also used in everything from greetings to insults, its just how you give it out.

I haven’t reached out to my Brothers and Sisters on here for a while, old and new so, I’d like to say hello to any new people here to my humble ramblings, may something have mercy on your souls…

– And yes that was a p*ss take, I don’t ever talk like an evangelist, just for those of you who don’t know me, and who could mistake the intent…

😀

As you may have guessed and or realised by now is that I’m new to Greece. Been here over four months now, almost coped with the intense heat that it lays on you in the summer, so far survived the madness that is so called ‘traffic’, and managed to crawl out of many a fine food establishment full with the finest foods.

There must be special mention of the local bars too for keeping me as sane as they have done during this time. To follow.

So, let me briefly explain my plight, he says…

I left the UK wanting a new challenge, the UK was physically making me ill, the state of the industry I worked in was unbearable, the weather was driving me insane at times, and my family had become distant due to the deaths of my Grandparents which were the family glue that kept us all close. And the demise of a relationship’s of course.

Having a slightly dysfunctional upbringing, and having moved numerous times due to my stepdad’s work made me have to adapt quickly, having to move to Canada with my parents when I was young was amazing but at the same time very hard. Having to come back to the UK and suffer as we all did their eventual demise made me in some ways the way I am now in some big aspects of my life.

My closeness with my Grandparents due to living with them for a small period as a child learnt me of the world and gave me the hunger I have for travel and seeing the world.

I’ve always loved seeing and experiencing other cultures, not as an observer but as someone who seeks something different than what he’s had before.

I’m British, born in Nottingham, mum and real dad both British, Granddad Polish, Grandma British however I don’t feel British inside.

The place that has always been considered home to me was Canada. From 9 – 15 they were the best years of my life in some aspects, also some of the most harrowing, but character building days. Days that you know shaped what you are inside. You see my dad sadly was never on the scene, my step dad met my mum when she was having me and raised me till they divorced, however having spent a time with my grandparents, my Granddad became my father figure.

I learnt so much off him growing up, so the way I was and often am to my friends in their ideals and values is very different and old fashioned.

My upbringing was quite bad, it had some really good moments in it, and it could have been a hell of a lot worse too, so I’m grateful for all I have and emerged with.

Having moved some ten or more times before i had finished the age of school has made me almost fear settling into a place or area too well, as subconsciously I guess I have always expected to be moving at some point. The few times I could have maybe done it and should have, I guess life got in the way.

Canada was a turning point as i went from struggling to learn an English curriculum, to then having to learn a Canadian one, in French. Quebec used to make all the children of foreigners learn the Countries native tongue so at least one member of every new family of any nation can get by. A damn good thing too.

It wasn’t easy, and I was never the most obedient child as people who knew me then will tell you.

Since coming to Greece though I instantly felt at home, the country, the weather, the way of life was just meant for me. There’s so much that I like. Sure there’s lots that is different to what your maybe used to, but as I find each new day, it brings so much more.

As previously mumbled about by my self a while back, I being a serious Tea-head as we say in the UK, have real issues with cold coffee. The mighty ‘frappe’ is a concept I really struggle with, in the UK, if my coffee went cold I threw it away and made a hot one. Its a by product of something once nice, to a state of bland naffness that I just can’t sit with all day long. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not disrespecting one of your National treasures, I’m just saying its not for me just yet.

There have been times when I’ve had half of it and enjoyed them somewhat, and sometimes the heat is so intense the thought of a hot drink makes sweat trickle down you leg anyway, however the need for caffeine is still present.

I’ve had ones with Baileys, quite a few actually, now they were real good, but you couldn’t have too many of those before work, well I suppose you shouldn’t anyway…

Who am I to judge!

I know I haven’t had any problems with people being anything other than really sincere and genuine most of the time, welcoming and certainly up for a good time.

Any more than three Greeks in a room with coffee usually instigates discussions that could break records, and will often involve copious amounts of food and drink lasting for days…

Anyway, that’s kept me concious for a bit longer, its time to do some ‘work’ based nonsense now I’ve had my minute or so.

One last ramble, that’s another thing here. Greek time. Everyone goes on about Greenwich mean time, if we were all on Greek time there would be no problems, and certainly no wars. Fact.

Firstly the money would have been embezzled so no one could afford it.

A few would be arguing over who had embezzled it, that is all except the ones too busy drinking ‘frappe’ and playing Backgammon who couldn’t give a damn.

Half the majority still wouldn’t be awake and would miss it anyway, and just as many wouldn’t have even finished partying by the time it begun anyway.

Anyone left, the stragglers, would be at the beach…

Problem solved, I thank you…

I’ve seen people drink coffee for an hour then spend three hours stood at the table saying goodbye to each other, then one got onto a Moped stood some ten feet away, and then it took one of them twenty minutes to get his helmet on as they chatted away.

I wanted to tie him to his Moped and ride him home myself just so they’d shut the f*ck up! It wasn’t like they were quiet either, you know the sort that want to inflict their sense of ‘how funny and cool they think they are’ on you type.

If one of them had of been stood nearer the road I’d have been tempted to stuff him in the back of the garbage disposal van when it first went past… Ho Hum…Next time!

Other than that, its all good here so far. And I think its going to get better soon…

For once.

Goodbye for now whilst I go and inject caffeine into my eyeballs and glue a pack of cigarettes together as i munch through a bowl of whisky soaked cornflakes.

Tooth ache…
17:12 on 07 October 2008

Only on thing to say on the subject really…

Arse!

It sucks, but not in a nice way!

Having a National Identity in Greece…
16:37 on 16 October 2008

So, my dilemma, here I was sat sitting with a guy who speaks Greek, (obviously), being in Greece, with a Greek guy, discussing the whole context of having a National Identity, and this, (if your Greek you’ll know what I mean), but here I am, from the UK, Britain, England, whatever the hell its called these days…?, discussing the Name Greek/Greece, when its a name that was sort of imposed and used, rather than an identity that you had adopted and grown with.

Confused? – I was…

The perk of the day was that there was a sort of music fest broke out in the square in Exarhia, outside where I work. So, apart from being woken up at 8ish to the joyous sounds of the Sex Pistols and co blaring away over the din of the Builders next door and the Bin men outside, it was a good start to the day, then I arose, made a coffee and awaited the day to unfold. By now others had gathered at work and the music outside mellowed to a heavenly rapture of Shine on you crazy Diamond by the Floyd… Wow…

The Sun on the trees, 25 degrees, an nice gentle breeze blowing through the air, and now, with my coffee, Pink Floyd booming out, followed by, some, Led Zep, BB King etc…

And discussing the world…😀

So, we touched on the football, or rather lack of it, and the names of the Countries as we struggled to remember who’d played who when the Greek name came up. My friend, who shall remain nameless mentioned, in a (hang them all for still using it) kind of way, and told me the history of the name, which to those who don’t know is very interesting.

Then he mentioned if I were British/UK or what. I couldn’t answer at first, I didn’t know what i wanted to say to be honest.

Don’t get me wrong here- I’m proud as a person, glad of my upbringing, but I’ve never felt truly British, having lived abroad and having seen what a large portion of Brits do when they go abroad makes me shameful of being known as British a large part of the time, and I always try and fit in, appreciate their cultures, enjoy their way of life and hospitality and to accommodate the changes with my arms open, rather than eating ‘fish and chips’ whilst moaning about the weather being too hot, and comparing everything to home.

I’m a believer in what our country has done at times, (very select times), and achieved, but I left their because it never did any good for me personally as I’ve grown.

As for when I was younger, I was just me, the same as everyone else. At school being in a Canadian school didn’t make me see them as Canadians, they were just people who spoke funny… Still are but I love the language, and know that they say and do the same stupid things we do. Same in Belgium, and no disrespect, even more so…!

So, Identity… I knew it was there somewhere, so… Yes, erm, Being called Greece in itself is almost like a throwback to imperial rule and Turkish oppression, as to me Great Britain symbolises Victoria’s rule and the old British Empire, Good and strong periods of History but ultimately bad for their occurrence on the whole.

I believe the name debate has been raging for years and probably will do so till it becomes the National Issue no more. To me personally visiting, and hoping to settle here it would be nice to have it revert to its true name as it seems more Romantic, and also ties in the history it has with the Country itself and where it came from, rather than a name that people have just become accustomed to using. Everywhere you look shows signs of Ancient life and beliefs, one of the best reasons for life here has to be the way you live.

My debate never ended, as you can only talk to yourself long after the other people have left, before people consider you mad… And so I sat, thinking, far more sane, just thinking the same things to yourself…

That’s not mad either…!

So, what is everyone, who are we? Where do we call ourselves from these days, are we Europeans, Citizens of ‘x’ regime, Partisans to this or that cause, or are we people, individuals, carving our own way through life and time…

Well, if life exists on other planets, one things for sure.

Your town name’s going to be pretty irrelevant…!

Thought for the day…

Beer!😀

About Simon Rawicz

Hmmm, It is about me I suppose... Work hard die young seems to be the motto life's going to write on my coffin well before we agree on terms and conditions. I'm a 2D/3D Artist/Designer and Multi-media specialist by trade, I play guitar and write songs when I'm not wanting to vent my anger out on the system. If I occasionally do get time to do anything else I'd like to know about it... Meanwhile to free my mind of the many demons that stalk me, I write stuff, your reading it so I don't need to tell you any more than that surely...!
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One Response to Phase two : Adapting…

  1. Pingback: A bit nipply. – Write or wrong?

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