Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Fragile Contents

There is plenty of debate in countries like the UK and Greece about nationality and what a national identity means.
I never paid much attention until it dawned on me that I might be becoming Greek in spite of myself. On Monday morning I arrived at Athens airport and checked in my 19.8 kg suitcase for a flight to London. More than half of that weight was composed of potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, oranges and onions.
Yes. I spent my first months in Greece sneering at the mothers who packed off their children to the UK with two tons of food in their suitcases. It isn't that bad, I would say. But faced with two weeks in the UK, two weeks of tasteless tomatoes and blindingly strong white onions, I realised I couldn't do it, hence my trip to the laiki for supplies.
Ah, Greece, where you can tuck into pornographically named treats like Milky Dream, buy a health suppliment called Good and Bad, watch garbage TV programmes with endearing names like Show Sexy and stir the deepest fears of lone homophobes driving on mountain roads with large signs that warn gravely of "Dangerous Bents Ahead."
A country that mercifully blagged its way into the EU to allow reformed doubters like me to carry a two week supply of fruit and vegetables to the UK without import penalties, so that I can at least console myself with a tomato salad as I complain relentlessly about the food and weather with my sister's French housemate, who naturally appreciates what I say being from the Mediterranean south of France.
When I gave her one of my precious Greek tomatoes she thanked me as if I'd just handed her a diamond necklace. "That's the reaction you were waiting for from me, wasn't it." said Sister, who like most people think I've lost it when I reveal the precious cargo that is the reason for my suitcase's weight.

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1 comment:

deviousdiva said...

Hilarious bollybotton. I know exactly what you mean about all of it.

"But faced with two weeks in the UK, two weeks of tasteless tomatoes and blindingly strong white onions"

You know !!!

Really laughed out loud a lot.