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The German lady (Η Γερμανίδα)

Posted Feb 11 2013 12:00am
Just another story in the life of a day in Crete...

I had a big shopping list to get through this morning before I went to work: leeks, carrots, garlic, all fresh produce we could but don't grow ourselves, which are vital in small amounts in much of my daily cooking; apples and bananas, 'easy-food for children's lunchboxes; chocolate (I heard someone moaning over the weekend about the lack of chocolate in the house); flour, sugar and baking powder - I'm sure my mother never went through as much as I did!

 
I spotted this cat at the supermarket this morning - it wasn't a golden tabby or a silver tabby, but something in between: is there such a thing as a white tabby? or is it simply sun-bleached?

As I stocked up, a lady who was sifting through the range of stock cubes next to the flour shelves asked me if I spoke English. She pointed to the Greek words on the packets: λαχανικά (vegetables), κοτόπουλο (chicken), βοδινό (beef)...

"Which could of course be horsemeat," I added, and we both cracked up laughing. 

After the customary exchange about my 'very good English' and the where-are-we-froms (she was from Germany), I asked her about why she was living here.

"I came here on holiday, and I really liked it. I've been here two years now. In Germany, life is highly regulated, so much to the point that you feel that your movements are constantly being monitored. Greek people often joke to me about the weather in Germany - we had just 22 hours of sunshine last month in my hometown - but that's nothing compared to the hassles we go through just to prove our existence. I had to fill in a zillion forms just last week to re-open my bank account there! My internet connection wasn't working and I had lost time catching up with my emails and my account was closed, and all for nothing! Here, I just make a phone call, and talk to a human being, not a machine!...

Photo: Όσοι βρεθήκαμε νωρίτερα το απόγευμα στο λιμάνι μαγευτήκαμε από μια μοναδική εικόνα.... Την κράτησα για σας... This is what you would have seen on Saturday if you had been in Hania - the double rainbow connected Crete with the Peloponese! You can see the rainbow as I saw it from my house in yesterday's post . Photo borrowed from Chania Crete .

"I can't believe how disconnected my people have become. It's not just the weather that's cold, it's the people that have become used to using a cold approach to most aspects of life. I like the human connections here in Crete. Greek people's craziness is a different kind of craziness from the senseless logic and blind adherence to the state in Germany. Here, at least people can still use their common sense! The way the EU is trying to change their politics is simply not working. They think they can change the South, but it's simply not working, and they can see that now, but they are not admitting it. I don't know where this will lead, but I know I can only continue to live in Germany if I pretend I am happy. Here, I don't have to pretend I am happy. I am sure I am happy. Here, I am free to live freely..."

There are cracks in the plinth everywhere.

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