Saturday, April 2

The world's MY village

The Village has, maybe, 400 people. It's a small pond, where everyone knows everyone.

The only noises you hear are the morning Church bells calling everyone to work, and the evening sound of running feet as The Village priest runs from Church to the ouzeri to begin his night of cards and chipero drinking. (No women allowed in, of course).

The Villagers don't travel far. The World can begin and end 30 km away.
A village friend travelled to Athens with me by car, one day. He broke into a sweat as we approached the city outskirts and by the time we reached the city centre, he was having panic attacks. His ambition is to upgrade from his Hyundai Accent (a sort of tractor but with smarter bodywork) to a Ferrari and still swim around his pond in it, but much faster.

Then there's Yianni. Yianni the owner of the garden shop. And Yianni the painter of village letterboxes and road signs. And Yianni the refuse collector, and Yianni the postman. Yianni is one and the same person, multi tasking his village life.

It's so small my ex-wife, when packing her bags for the final time before departing back to the trendy cafe's and bars and shops of London, called it a one-horse town. As in most things she was wrong, as I've never seen a horse here. Perhaps a one-goat town, instead.

But I see the whole World in my village because I scrape a living by bringing foreign tourists to my house for holidays. It's the Big Fish coming to swim awhile in my Small Pond.

Many are from the US, a culture where intelligence seems to grow in inverse proportion to wealth. Some visitors are very knowledgeable, able to talk about the Cradle of Civilisation and the Birth of Democracy without reference to a book, and will happily and inquisitively explore Greek village life. The others will book the trip and pay the money in advance before asking me 'Where is Greece, exactly?' or 'Do they talk American?' or 'Do you have terrorists there?'. (Only me, who would happily shoot this sort of incredibly stupid person, I should reply).

The Swedish come, too. You'd think I''d be happy with a bunch of tall, slim, blond, and young females rushing bikini-clad around my house, but it's not like that because they come in the Winter and stay huddled around the log fires in their parkas, asking 'What exactly happens here?' I normally pull their light fuses and leave them in the dark, so they can feel more at home.

The French. Oh, the French in a Greek village! Have they never, ever, seen a dead sheep hanging upside down before? Have they never eaten meat without blood oozing out of it? They eat horses, don't they, so why do they always turn their collective noses up at Ostrich? But they leave several kilo's lighter, so I suppose that's one definition of having a good time.

The Irish are frequent visitors, and sometimes I need a vacation after they've gone. It can be one long, mad, laughter-filled, party. The record in one week was 74 empty wine and spirit bottles, and there were only 4 of them staying.

I had 3 monks from Ireland one week. They came with their sisters (not monastery-type Sisters for an illicit weekend, but sisters of the real blood - relative type). A quiet, thoughtful, somewhat spiritual few days would pass, I thought, until I entered the living room to find them seated around naked, and asking me where they could go to find nude beaches, nude sea bathing and nude cafe's.

That compares with my special Irish group, who were so intent on avoiding distractions from their 24/7 imbibbing that, when the woman miscarried her 2 and a 1/2 month foetus, she promptly flushed it down the toilet and carried on drinking. I know that because I had to clear the blockage afterwards.

The English are....well, uum, very English. English Breakfast Teabags, Guidebooks, Factor 34 tanning lotion, minutes out in the sun timed by a stopwatch, and Greek phrase books they practise atrociously on everyone.

So the World is my Village, and it comes to me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who are you and where do you live?

12 November, 2005  
Anonymous Γ ΠετραΣ said...

Very Good! Highly amusing!

15 November, 2005  

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