An entertaining aspect of foreign countries is popular culture.
This crime against fashion goes by the name of Arash. He's an Iranian singer who somehow, mysteriously and miraculously has hit the big time in Europe. How come we never heard of him in the UK? I feel deprived! He has released a song called Boro Boro (translated as go away). I doubt he'd have been as successful if he hadn't stolen the Bollywood format. Everyone loves Bollywood!
After Arash, most Greek pop music is comprised of the power ballad, and all the singers sound like they're trembling on the edge of bursting into tears. Never in my young life have I heard such warbling. Talk about miserable! Most days it's fine, but every once in a while you think "If I hear one more warbling note with bouzoki playing, I'll kill myself."
Athens International Radio 104.4fm:
Hooray! They speak English!
Aloof, skinny and always fashionable, the Athenian cafe waitress can make you feel bad about yourself without even trying. In fact, all the women in Athens manage that with a mere flash of their bug-eye sunglasses, which they all wear. Rule number one for survival and any hope of being a part of decent society: you don't go to the corner shop in your jim jams. Nothing less than this season's cutting edge fashion and immaculate hair and makeup will do.
Let's go for a coffee:
Never say yes to this offer unless you have at least three hours to spare. Ordering is superfast, service follows at the speed of light, but more often than not, that precious frappe, ambrosia of Athenian life, will lie there untouched for a minimum of two hours while its owner talks about anything and everything. And God the Greeks can talk. They may have missed out when God was handing out pieces of land, which is why they say they ended up with some rocks in the sea, but they must have camped out overnight to be first in line for the Gift of the Gab.
Damn the Euro!
Everyone I spoke to hates it. They blame it, along with America for everything. Like an old person looking back on their youth through rose tinted glasses, everything was better with the drachma, and the sad thing is this is probably true. The Greek government's finance department has some funky ideas. They've proposed a 25% tax for all earnings across the band. So if you earn 100 euros, you pay 25% tax, if you earn 10,000, you pay 25%. Hmmm! Good idea - not!