Greek Holiday 2012

By Otto Mittelstaedt

When people find out I have just gotten back from Greece, they ask me if things are as bad there as the media says. I tell them that on the surface, things don’t look too different. There is slightly less traffic on the streets of Athens, the beaches, restaurants and monuments are less crowded, everything is just as clean, public transportation is working efficiently, the bank machines spit out money and taxi drivers actually take you where you want to go; in other words, the place is much improved for visitors.

I didn’t see too many Porsches this time. Did see an aging Countach, though. Porsche observations peaked about 2 years ago. Today, the affluent are laying low. There is a place in central Athens, known as Anarchist’s Square, where if you park a Porsche, it will be torched. Other than that, it’s a great spot, surrounded by trendy cafes and restaurants and  where young people jam on warm spring and summer nights. It’s one of my favourite places.

Anarchy is also a good description for what happens on the roads of Greece. Sometimes I think that anarchy as gotten a bad. rap. It is just a philosophy that preaches that people are responsible enough to take care of themselves and others, without a lot of rules. And that’s just how it is on the streets and roads of Greece. It looks very difficult, but in fact, is easy. Just remember to be smooth and deliberate. Don’t make any sudden dives into an empty lane at traffic lights; you will likely knock a couple of moto riders off their bikes.

If you can, this is the year to go.

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