I’ve just discovered (with the help of colleagues) what it is about
! You’ll remember my last post where I pondered this question - What IS it about Greece? Well, I think I have my answer. Greece
Apart from recently realising I have become more Greek than even I was aware, the thing that keeps the likes of you and I in
is our underlying contempt for anything in authority. I was a pain in school – I automatically hated teachers merely because of WHO they were, well – ‘teachers’! You know, those people who had this smug air about them and insisted you ‘do as I tell you.’ That was never good enough for me – I had to have a REASON, even if that reason was just because it’s the syllabus and it’ll help you get one more qualification. Greece
Irony is, I have become a teacher myself! But I am well trained and have a good eye for this trait in my students, hence I am good with the trouble makers and make SURE they understand why they have to do something. Kids smell fear a mile off – I should know. Hence, ironically, why I actually really love my job – because I get to deal with the people who were (are??) like me – and do it differently to how I was treated at school (basically shut up and put up or get a lot of detentions. Yes, I took the detention route. And yes, “The Breakfast Club” is one of my favourite films).
So back to the Greeks not liking authority: well, they DON’T do they? And can you blame them??? I’m not just talking about their baton wielding police force (who, actually, I feel quite sorry for: these guys’ training is BRUTAL and they aren’t taught to think, merely be muscle), but their politicians too. I mean, let’s face it – look at what’s going on in Greece…would YOU have any respect for authority by the example of what’s been dealt them of late?? Hence why Greeks automatically try to find ‘alternative ways around things’ (ahem, like paying taxes). It’s because they’ve been TOLD to do it. Rule no.1: don’t tell a Greek to do anything!
Which brings me back what I was saying: those of us who stay…examine your character a little and you will probably find you secretly (or maybe not so secretly) admire the Greek equiv. of the 2 fingered salute to authority – the flat palm. Hence why we like it here.
And the other reason? Well, in my last post I talked about becoming slightly Greek when I yelled. I realised today that when I was yelling at that poor woman, it was IN GREEK! I even impressed MYSELF at my range of Greek yelling vocabulary.
See! Even the pensioners are yelling!
Yelling is much more effective in the Greek language – it sounds so much more, well, violent and as if you mean it. I mean, try saying in English in a loud voice:
“I have paid my money and if something is not done about this, then you are an incompetent being who’s been raised by a whore.” No – doesn’t quite go does it. And “whore” is a terrible thing to say in English – eh, not so much in Greek.
On the other side of the bipolar Greek spectrum, saying beautiful things is much nicer in Greek too. I find myself frequently speaking cutie things to my cats in Greek and a lot of old ladies, upon meeting them for even just the first time, refer to me as a ‘copela mou’ or ‘coukla mou.’ (‘My girl’ or ‘my doll’). Doesn’t quite go in English eh? (anything with a ‘mou’ is a compliment, a REAL compliment – you’re not being called a cow, don’t worry).
So there we have it – reasons for staying, insults and sweetness all in one.