In the Cold War Hollywood propaganda pic, War Games, starring Matthew Broderick, the world is put on a heightened security alert, because of some pesky kids meddling with computers, way before the internet was invented. I was reminded of this tale a couple of days ago at the beach, when, just as we were about to take our usual hour long bathe into the crystal waters of the Med, we had our own mini-Defcon moment.
“I think it’s started.”, murmured T nonchalantly. “What do you mean, it’s started?” I responded. “A pain, different than before, I think it might be the contractions starting” I was informed.
Hmmm…..OK…. Right…. pause for a second……Think…..clearly….DON’T PANIC….. “Have I got time for a 5 minute dip in the sea” was the only thing that came out of my mouth. OK, maybe that’s not the best idea. “Shall I call your mum? Should I get the car? Where are the pains” etc etc. Clearly, a mild panic was inevitably at hand, adrenalin beginning to race through my veins, sabotaging any logic and reason that went before.
To cut a long story short, it was a false alarm. But it shook us both out of our slightly complacent, Kalamata-dreaming, pseudo-utopian existence, a very timely reminder that life was about to change in ways we would never be able to imagine. Later on, back at the ranch, things stepped up a gear. Hospital bags were packed, breathing exercises became a hot topic once again, and there was talk of booking a hotel near to the hospital to avoid the hour-long mountain drive when the real events kicked in.
However, like a pendulum gradually coming to rest, 24 hours later, life seemed to have returned to it’s usual, more measured pace. The Greeks don’t use the word for tomorrow (αύριο), like the Spanish use mañana, but they might as well do. Although voices might be raised, hot words exchanged, and tempers may momentarily flare whilst discussing the best way to cultivate wild greens, stress does not seem to be a native concept in this part of the world.
And from one perspective there’s every reason to worry. The nation starts yet another round of general strikes this week. We’re not even sure that we’ll get to see a doctor on Wednesday. The Greek media tries to purvey a sense of fear and apocalypse, reporting every little fart in the negotiations as a major news topic. But the relentless barrage of doom and gloom politics surely must have an exponentially weakening impact. We’re all more than aware that the country is facing it’s biggest crisis in living memory, we don’t need to be reminded of it every half an hour. Give us some more feel-good ‘cat rescued from tree’ news stories for a change.
Amidst the turmoil, I’m reminded that life must go on, αύριο is another day. And most importantly, don’t panic…..
Words of the day:
- βρώμικο -dirty – (vrom-ee-ko)
- άδειο – empty – (a-thee-o)
- μαύρο – black – (mao- ro)
- άσπρο – white – (as-pro)
- παράθυρο – window – (pa-rath-ee-ro)
- πάμε για μπάνιο – let’s go for a swim – (pa-may yah -ban-yo)