Personal and undiluted views
Communists

2455 days ago

In praise of Nicho, Papou in Kambos

On my first night at the Greek Hovel I wandered into town to watch the World Cup Final. As you may remember I was the only person present supporting the Krauts against the Argies and this drew particular disapproval from one man wearing the heavy moustache one would associate with a Maniot warrior of old.  That man was Nicho.

By the end of the summer we were firm friends. He speaks English and is the life and soul of the Kourounis tavern run by the lovely Eleni. The young men call him Papou (grandfather) but respect him as a chap who can drink them under the table, happily do a Greek dance – after half a bottle of whisky – but also be deadly serious.

As the only English speaker bar Eleni he is a conduit for me to wider world. His main job is with an organic food form headquartered in Athens. But he can work remotely and one imagines that business is not exactly booming and so he has plenty of time for more important things such as growing olives.

You will remember that an olive tree is viewed as a being like a beautiful woman who must be treasured and cared for. And Nicho owns a 500 year old specimen which in Kambos terms is like saying that you have Cheryl Cole waiting for you at home lying in a state of undress on your bed.

The Mani

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3069 days ago

Rocking With the anarchists not the commies

Zakynthos. This place was totally wiped out by an earthquake in the early 60s ( apart from one sixteen century church) so it would be hard to describe it has having old world charm but it was pleasant enough. I suspect that one “the season” gets underway it will be Hell on Earth but for now the main language spoken was Greek and it was harmless. Zakynthos has escaped the worst of the meltdown thanks to tourism but even here the signs of unease are clear.

Posters protesting against the rise of the Nazi Golden Dawn party were everywhere to be seen.

 In the main square outside a bank Kappa Kappa (the commies) was holding a protest and Concert. This is a communist party that has yet to accept (unlike most European commies) that Stalin had its faults and that it is a good thing that the Berlin Wall has come down. As a result it is pretty unelectable – hard-line Stalinism is not cool even in a country facing meltdown.

And so it started with a video which basically equated, ad nauseam, Golden Dawn with the holocaust. Frankly Golden Dawn does contain some incredibly unpleasant characters and to describe its leaders as Nazis really is not that unfair. The film went on to show that Russia won the second world war

 

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