Monday, November 05, 2018

011118 BLOK


011118 BLOK
I´m eating my veggie club sandwich at Jimmy and Sons, food store in Trikala.  They´ve been in da biz since 1979.
Where and what was I doing in 1979?  I was in L.A., acting like a screenplay writer, and living with Bluma Bluebond in West L.A., near Farmer´s Market and the Pan Pacific Auditorium, where we went as a family to watch the Ice Capades.  I remember voting for Jimmy Carter while in L.A..
Now, forty years later living in Trikala, Greece, still cycling the world at 78 years of age.
As I was eating my veggie club, I observed two Greek workers dismantling a steel roof. They wear red uniforms.  They, however, wear no protective gear, except sun glasses, as sparks fly, and the noise deafening.  They seem to work well together, one the boss, the other, the underling. They stop occasionally to smoke a cigarette, but not lazy in the least —although in the spotlight on this busy walking street, passerbys stopping to observe..  One wonders what the pay is for these two?
They say, 6 out of 10 people in Greece, barely surviving.  Yet, on the surface, Greece seems to be weathering the recent economic torture, the Austerity Program imposed by Brussels (E.U.). Then again there´s 40% unemployment for young people.  They have shown their frustation, by painting graffiti on practically everything and/or moving to Germany.
There are also many beggars.  Maria (new Greek friend) said they are the Romani people (gypsies).  Many children come up to me begging.  But, I show them a document I have had translated into Greek, which basically reads, IF YOU WANT MONEY FROM ME, YOU BETTER LEARN SOME ENGLISH.  Then, I find out these kids can´t even read Greek, as Romani.  I always give to the women with babies, however, soft hearted as I am. No doubt, rent a baby, for effectiveness. 
Everyone rides a bicycle here in Trikala because it´s flat and the weather generally good.  But, they´re not very concerned with courtesy nor going by rules.  They run traffic lights, cut you off, cycle on the wrong side of the road (Greece bears right, as in the U.S. and China).  They also operate their smarteles. while riding. No wonder drivers of motor vehicles honk, and/or get angry with us cyclists.  I try to set a good example, but also sneak through intersections against the light. 
Athens, is much worse, and VERY DANGEROUS, riding a bicycle.  I did it with Nikos and Alexandros, but not much alone. 
Trikala, turns out to be a Sister City to where I grew up, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.  One wonders how this happened back in 1949, when I was still living there as a 9-year old boy?  I would imagine some Greeks from Trikala immigrated there. 
The area reminds me of around Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China, where I lived for two years.  Both in a valley surrounded by mountains.  Although the one near Lijiang, Jade Dragon, much higher (over 5K mts. ASL).  
The highest mountain in Greece, is Mt. Olympus, the summit 3K mts.  I plan to cycle there next summer, and hike to the top.  I need to meet Zeus and Athene, Apollo, and other of the ancient Greek gods and goddesses — particularly Artemis,  the goddess of the hunt, forests and hills, the moon, archery and cycling! 
Yesterday, while waiting for a store to open, I met a young Greek woman named after Odysseus´ (of The Odyssey, by Homer) wife, Penelope. The young Penelope was fascinated with my story, and wanted a photograph, not me in particular, but of Mt. Fetes. 
Greek women, genrerally very attractive, but then again many so fat!
H. 

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