BEGGERS OF ATHENS

DAY 33…..Greece the First Time

Posted on June 29, 2012 by Key West Lou

I saw something for the first time yesterday. Something never seen before by me.

Begging.

The real kind. Not a homeless person looking for a hand out on Duval. The homeless receive some degree of care in the U.S. A place to sleep at night, cots, showers, at least one good meal a day.

The beggars I viewed seemed to have nothing. They looked pathetic. Quite frankly, as a visitor to Athens I found it abhorrent that some social network was not available to help these persons. This is the same Greece that I spoke about on my international internet show several months ago. The Greece that was preparing to give life pensions to pedophiles. Life pensions instead of life prison terms. To child abusers. While those begging and with serious problems receive nothing.

What did I see?

I was walking on a main downtown street of Athens. Two blocks from the Greek Parliament. The street is only open to pedestrian traffic. No cars. Crowded.

There on the sidewalk was an elderly woman dressed in black. She was holding on to a small wheel chair. In the wheel chair was a 30ish man. His body distorted in every conceivable way. The woman holding one hand out.

A block away, I happened upon a young man sitting on the curb. His legs were extended in front of him. His left foot was twisted dramatically to the left. He sat with his hand extended.

Then there was the young mother holding what I assume was her young child. The baby was no more than 6 months old. The woman was dressed in black. She had the baby in one arm and her hand extended with the other. Her eyes followed me.

Children 4, 5 and 6 years old came up and put a hand out. In the hand, a rose. They say nothing. Just look at you with big sad eyes.

There was one begger I shall never forget. I think young. Could have been in his 30’s, however. Hard to tell. He had neither arms nor legs. His face was totally scared. Minimal hair. What there was was disheveled. I am not sure he could see. His eyes seemed to be fixed. No movement. In front of him a dish for those wishing to give.

He was propped up on the curb with some sort of home made wood apparatus.

There are those who say the beggers are thieves. Some probably so. Periodic news reports indicate such. Pick pockets the most prevalent.

No one bothers with these people. Including the authorities.

A shame.

I had an otherwise nice day. A manicure. The nails grow regardless of where you are. Drinks at the Plaka at cocktail time. My manager friend gave me a bowl of cut up fruit. On the house. Dinner was again on what is known as the poor side of Acropolis and the Parthenon. A different restaurant. A terrific meal. I needed protein. I ordered an overflowing dish of all kinds of grilled meats.

Did I think of those who had less? Who were required to beg to exist? Yes. Did I do anything about them? No.

Today, I leave Greece. I feel like I have been here forever. Time to go. I fly to Milan this evening. Tomorrow night I will be staying some where on Mount Blanc. I will also be having dinner in France tomorrow night.

It is a good life. Thank you, Lord. There but for the grace of God could have been me on the street begging earlier in the day.

The Hotel Grande Bretagne where I am staying has an historical background of note. Many events have happened at the Hotel over its roughly two hundred year existence.

Two that interested me.

I am a World War II history freak.

In October 1940, all guests were removed from the hotel. The government and headquarters of the British forces replaced them. It was World War II time. Then the Germans came. Their invasion was successful. The Nazi hierarchy took over the Hotel for their headquarters. Greece was liberated in October 1944. The Hotel became the seat of the new temporary Greek government.

Demonstrations occur.

Generally in the plaza across from the Hotel Grande Bretagne. The plaza is in front of Parliament. Thousands come out to protest. Last year a demonstration occurred. The people came across the street to the Hotel and ripped out the Hotel’s gigantic marble steps. As well as the marble steps in front of the other hotels on the same block.

Yesterday’s blog screwed up. Spelling, English, etc. The bottom third of the first part of the publication. Nothing I could do. As terrific as this hotel is, their computers are a generation ago. Slow and mistake inclined. Suddenly, I could not correct my mistakes nor the computer’s.

Terri White. A love of my life. Donna writes that Terri will be appearing in The Razzy Room of the Hotel Nikko in Los Angeles on July 10. A big deal! Go Terri!

I published another article on Amazon Kindle yesterday. Chevron Officials Banned From Leaving Brazil. Theme: Fool me once you may get away with it…..try to fool me a second time and you are in trouble.

That is it for today. The end of the Greek portion of my trip. Tonight back in Italy. Tomorrow night dinner in France.

Enjoy your day!

I got my vaccine shot yesterday. Finally!

I am not ashamed to advise I was thrilled. Mentally felt better.

The shots were being given at the Frederick Douglas Gym in Bahama Village.

I was impressed with way the whole thing was handled. Such efficiency! Everyone providing the shots pleasant and respectful.

Before I even entered through an outside door, I had to go past at least 6 workers. Each had a particular piece of information to verify. Each had my name and age on a list.

Inside a form to be completed. Simple. A 5 minute job. Then escorted down a long way to the gym. Tons of people in the gym. Tables and chairs situated everywhere. Except for the shot, when otherwise seated the 6 foot rule was followed.

Within 10 minutes of arriving, I was seated with a nursing student. Dressed in nurse attire. She explained everything and gave me my shot. Such politeness. If nervous, would put a person at ease.

I was now finished with the first 15 minutes. Fifteen more involved. I had to sit for 15 minutes to make sure there was no reaction. None and still none this morning.

Even the seating was organized. I received a paper saying 15 minutes and time I could leave. Had to return it. To make sure I did my 15 minutes for any reaction.

Done and out the door in 30 minutes.

What I had thought would be a disaster was not. I might add there were at least 100 persons in the gym at all times.

The only ID I had t show was my driver’s license. To identify me and my age.

I have appointment to return on March 27 at the same place and time for shot #2.

I received the Moderna vaccine.

The Republican Party was formally organized in 1854 in Wisconsin. It is time for a reorganization.

CPAC has been meeting in Orlando since Friday. Today their “star” speaks. Donald Trump.

It is a Trump crowd. Not all conservative thinkers. Purpose thus far to debunk the election and election process. Efforts being made on two fronts to change the election process to benefit Trump followers.

The first to reduce early voting days. Second, to limit access to voting by mail. It is assumed each will make it more difficult for Blacks to vote.

Today’s CPAC in reality represents a group of white men who recognize and fear Blacks who are increasing in numbers and will soon win elections on a frequent basis.

Interestingly, I heard on one of news shows yesterday that seven of the committee meetings concerned election issues. Not conservative ones as in previous years.

I am not a happy camper. Syracuse lost again yesterday. To Georgia Tech 84-77.

One sportscaster wrote this morning Syracuse was off the bubble. Meaning doubtful Syracuse will be invited to the NCAA tournament. One writer disagreed. Thought Syracuse would because it plays in one of the toughest leagues in college basketball. The writer thought the invitation list to the league would go 11 deep.

Enjoy your Sunday!

6 comments on “BEGGERS OF ATHENS

  1. CPAC is nothing but a hate fest. It has been that way for decades. It hides behind the veneer of conservatism, but is if you only listen to the presentations given at their yearly conference, just one bit of hate after another. NEVER uplifting or hopeful, always fear and hate.

    Every American should be appalled at this vile yearly spectacle.

  2. Lou. When I was in Athens I was told of gypsy camps in the outskirts of the city where the “beggars” reside as a community group, and are driven into the city early in the morning. In their world the most valuable members are those who are disfigured or appear unable to move. Mothers with babies or very young children are especially valuable. At the end of the day they are driven back to their somewhat comfortable camps, and their profits from their day of begging is turned over to their community leaders.

    But knowing about this deception doesn’t really help the tourists who are appalled by the desperate appearance of the beggars they see on the street. Does this person really need help from me to avoid starvation? Or is this just another scheme to separate me from my money? How can we know? I admit that I have handed over a lot of coins to beggars, even though I knew I shouldn’t.

    • Sounds to me more like a conspiracy theory Jim Jones or Rush Limbaugh would have come up with. You know something that included images of these same beggars after hours enjoying champagne in fine restaurants, or driving BMW’s in their “off hours.”

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