Everyday’s downtown adventure

It’s funny how easy it is to start the day with a specific “mind-conditioning” and, without even realizing it, ending up with another, just a few hours later. Maybe that’s why the tourists and foreigners who happen to see one of the (almost daily) demonstrations in the center of Athens can not understand how this is “just another day” for the rest of us.

Knowing that the center was blocked early in the morning, I went out heading to the University across town with the very real possibility of never getting there on time or never getting there at all. Underground, the city functions as coordinated and busy as always, people coming in and out of the metro stations normally. Above ground, the center looks like it’s mid-summer and half the population is on vacations. Almost no cars at all in some areas, tourists watch the “crazy Greeks” walking by demonstrators and heavy police forces completely indifferent, as if this happens every day (and it almost does). Tourists look around surprised, taking pictures, wondering if this is a national holiday or something, since many of the “restless natives” are sitting back in coffee shops, reading newspapers, laughing, arguing, nobody seems to care about it.

Well, since I’m not a tourist, I wouldn’t be an exception. I went out in the morning, stressed up and looking at my watch regularly, sending messages that I’m gonna be late. But when I realized that it was simply impossible to get to the University, at least not before all was done in our group meeting with colleagues and everyone else had left, suddenly everything became more “relaxed”. Half an hour later I was drinking my double-espresso too, reading a newspaper, just spending the time that I had already allocated to the meeting before returning to the rest of today’s work…


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