Monday, February 23, 2009

And the Winner Is...Who?

This weekend's Oscars were swept away by Slumdog Millionaire, a movie by a British director set in an Indian slum. It won a total of eight Oscars and the director flew the cast, some of whom are not professional actors but simply children living in the slums, to Hollywood for the ceremony.
It's an amazing achievement and a movie that has received nothing but rave reviews for shining a light on the lives of India's poor. It has shot the cast to worldwide fame and acclaim and given them a chance to attend school and secure their futures in a way they would never have imagined in their wildest dreams.
And only one cinema in all of Athens is showing it. Slumdog Millionaire cleaned the board last night with its wins, but if you live in Athens you will have to really go out of your way to enjoy this Oscar winning sensation. That annoys me more than I can say. It must be one of the very few Oscar winning movies that got totally ignored by the cinema board of Greece. What a pity and what an insult.
Slumdog Millioanire
Daily at 7.30 pm
Apollon Filmcentre
Stadiou 19/Klauthmonos square
Athens city centre
ph: 210 3236811

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Make it a Sell Out!!!!!

As EllasDevil pointed out and as Mr Zeus had recently informed me, a newspaper is giving away three Bollywood movies this Sunday.

Thanks to ED I know now that that newspaper is Sunday's Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia. I spent two days scanning the airwaves waiting for the ad to come up to identify the publication and the harder I looked the more I couldn't find it. Eventually I began talking about a racist conspiracy to make sure people didn't watch Bollywood in Greece (which is only because I kept missing the ad).

Finally this morning, there it was. Three whole Bollywood movies. Oh. My. GOD!!! The best of the lot if Dil to Pagal Hai (The Heart is Crazy), a love triangle dance film which I have watched a few dozen times with my cousins, copying dialogues and dance routines. Silly fluff, exactly what's needed with all this talk of doom and gloom.

What's going on these days? Is it the Barack Obama effect that's leading to us ethnic minorities popping up more on Greek TV? Just last week my all time favourite Bollywood movie was shown on TV, but it was at 2 am so I missed it.

Anyway, who am I to complain. Mr Zeus is under strict order to buy me the newspaper this Sunday because I won't be around. All of you join in too, let's make this issue a sell out and show the press that Greece *hearts* Bollywood!!!

Ps: Don't miss this pivotal scene in Dil to Pagal Hai. It may look kinda lame now, but it went down as one of the hottest scenes in Bollywood ever. It's referred to as the "Bangle Scene" and left teenage girls across the subcontinent dreaming of being breathlessly told.. aur paas... aur paas... aur paas. *Swoon*

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Αχ!! Καίγομαι

In the Home Country, we use chillies the way the Greeks use lemon. It goes on everything. When someone's not feeling well, we tell them to put extra chilli in their food. The fruit stall at the market would prepare jugs of orange juice for us finished with a flourish of salt and pepper. Even fruit salad was served with chilli powder, and nothing tastes yummier than oranges and guavas dipped in salt and chilli powder. Even yoghurt, which is meant to accompany meals as a coolant for anything too spicy, usually glowed pink from chilli powder.

When I am having a bad time, I make the hottest food I can consume and eat it in a haze of sweat and pain, which always leads to a sense of euphoria when it's all over. When I'm ill with a cold, I do exactly the same until the fire of the chilli bombs its way through my blocked synuses. That's not to say I'm a champion chilli eater. I've met my match enough times, especially the scotch bonnet chilli which actually left me in crippling pain. I also couldn't face off with a chinese friend at university who used to make lunches consisting of boiled rice and fried green chillis in soy sauce.
There is a lot of goodness packed in chillis and since moving to a country where they are almost not consumed at all, I've come to love them in a whole new way. I adore them, I adore the two varieties I grow in my garden and how faithfully they deliver when I want to add a little kick to something. I adore the smell of them and how my mouth waters in anticipation when they're lying on the chopping board.

Chillis have been proven to create a sense of eurphoria, release endorphins, reduce pain, prevent stomach ulcers and are packed with Vitamin C.

My own personal belief is that a curry is like love and is supposed to hurt a little. But let's be honest, the physical effects of eating a chilli are quite suggestive. You skin flushes, your breath becomes shallow, pupils dilate, lips grow red, you sweat, you face tenses as your tongue fluctuates between the pain of the burn and the pleasure of it. And afterwards, a sense of bliss and heightened awareness of colours, scents and sounds.

Mmmmm chillies... the next best thing to an orgasm. So let me just say that serving nachos in the cinemas of Greece without the jalapeno peppers is like sex without the orgasm. It's an insult, and there's no point even going there if you're not going to do it right!!!

By the way, this post intends to serve as my Valentine's Day post. This Saturday, go downtown to the main vegetable market of Athens and buy a bag of chillies. Cook something with them for your lover. Don't be scared of the chillies. I use them intact but you can reduce some of the heat by taking out the seeds and white veins.

Just be sure to wash your hands thoroughly so that you don't end up feeling the burn where you don't want to later that night.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Loops Lips and Shimmy Hips

I woke up today while it was still dark out to the sound of the dog retching, and started this beautiful day with the pale yellow moon sinking in the sky as I cleaned dog vomit.
Since I have jack all to blog about, I'll blog about nothing.

Last Wednesday all us hippie chicks at bellydancing stayed behind after class at the studio/teacher's house and had an impromptu party. As I've said before, I love the company of my friends from bellydancing, maybe because it takes a certain type of person to be interested in that form of dancing, someone a little bit alternative and oriental. Add to this that bellydance is practically the only thing that encourages me out from under my rock these days and these friends are unfortunately the only ones I see at any sort of regular interval, much to my own disgrace and the chagrin of all the friendly names gathering dust in my mobile.

Usually it's just girls and we'll have a drink, maybe play some tumberleki which I turned out to be surprisingly good at despite only picking one up for the first time a month ago. "You must have taken drum classes" said the teacher. No, I replied, I just have a lot of pent up stress and smacking down on this tumberleki is the only thing stopping my nearest and dearest from having to press domestic abuse charges.

Strange things happen when in the company of a bunch of women and the wine is flowing. Normally it's just us ladies chattering away, safe in the female bubble to talk about whatever the hell we want. This time however we had the novelty of a token man in our company, a sweet chap who entered the dark circle about a week ago through friends. Conversation rotated between people as it usually does in a gathering. At one point three of us girls were discussing my resident spots, which led onto other beauty talk, namely hair removal and the Indian technique of threading.

"It's the best for killer eyebrows, gives you extremely straight and clean lines." I said. "I'm not so much bothered about that, it's this" said R, drawing a line across her upper lip. "Oh, that, I just wax my moustache" I said. All of a sudden thunderous laughter goes up from across the table, where Token Man has, unbeknownst to me, been eavesdropping. How embarrassing. I had totally forgotten that there even was a man in the gang. The glass of red wine in my veins helped to numb the cringe factor and I just lamely said "Ooooh there's a man here tonight, and I forgot he was here! Ho ho!"

And now all of cyberspace knows what I do with my moustache too. But somehow it's much more embarrassing when it's said in front of a man you don't know. I felt like I'd announced my bra size to the room.

So anyway, we decided to go out on Friday night to a restaurant and stayed there till the wee hours eating and smoking nargile. I am in the middle of a month from hell, from the absolute bowels of spreadsheet-number-crunching-you-wanted-to-be-a-journalist-but-ended-up-in-a-deskjob-you-hate-and-are-working-back-to-back-and-work-weekends-too-to-stay-on-top-hell. So I grabbed at the thin little sliver of fun that would sustain me for another week under my rock with the computer, and stayed out till 3.30 am all on my ownsies with my girls.

Token Man turned up too. I don't think he's realised yet what a bunch of raving banshees we are because he keeps coming back for more.

There was one of those photographers there, the ones that take pics of you having fun and accost you with EUR 5 a piece prints at the end of the night when you're too tipsy to realise what a bad deal that is. "You should be a model!" he said. Oh, thanks Mr Photographer Flatterer Man, if I had a euro for every time someone told me that, why, I'd have a euro!

Well, I've got to crawl back under the rock with the spreadsheets now. It was nice talking to you all again.