People are looking like they move slower.
I arrived at Xios island at 19:30. It was a bumpy boat ride. In my whole life I made that trip on San Nicholas. It’s a small boat that acts like a dolphin among the waves. She’s speedy. I call her “the U-boat”. However this time, lured by my old travel agent who used to sell San Nicholas tickets, I traveled on a boat called “Chios“. She was a lot slower and I was one of two passengers on it.
In end-June, 19:30 streets of Xios should have been more lively. It is an outpost of an island really. Its population is mainly people originally from Xios, migrants of western Asia Minor. It lost a lot of its sons and daughters to the United States. So, at the bars and tavernas all summer long, Greeklish is the common language.
Not this June. My taxi driver complained naturally. Kefeneion on the corner of the harbor was deserted. Stray dogs did not run after the car as usual. Normally buzzing travel agents were closed due to time of the day. (Or lack of customers) The flight to Athens was crowded though. Mostly businessmen and traveling locals.
Greece is weird this summer. People are staring at their toes. Yesterday the harbor workers were on strike. No ship left or arrived at Peireas. People were stranded on islands or at the capital. Both the victims and the strikers raised their voices. But there were no newspaper or TV station to report these events. Because today journalists were on strike. I watched today’s WorldCup games without any commentary. I once more realized how disturbing the effect of vuvuzela was. God, it’s awful!
Plans and preoccupations aside, I will try to understand more this new psyche in Greece. Maybe partying time is over for real for Greece. Even that previous sentence sounds like an oxymoron when heard. Where everything is supposed to be loud and pronounced, this silence can drive you mad.
Having coffee at Kitchen Bar at Marina Zeas today, I observed my fellow patrons. They came, ate or drink dutifully and went on their chores. Except for a young mother, enthusing about her newborn, all was acting behind a gossamer screen. As if they were ghosts of a unsure future.
Of course it is still middle of the week. Of course all will be different during the weekend. We shall live and see. But if Europe is losing its last resort of dolce vita, what kind of heritage we would leave for our kids, I wonder.