DAY 21

Today could be the most significant day in history since the close of World War II. The Greek elections are being held.

The issue boils down to whether the Greeks want to continue operating with the euro as money or would they prefer a return to the drachma. I have talked with many since I arrived in Greece. I am getting divergent opinions.

Yes, I saw grown men and women spit on the ground when they heard Merkle’s name at a protest rally in Athens. That is not all of it however. I have found the bankers and very affluent support continuing with the euros. Why not. They are doing terrific under it. Making money!.

Then there are the small businessmen. They are struggling. They want a return to the drachma like yesterday. They also want out of the European Union.

Then come the people. The Jims and Janes on the streets. Those going to work every day to put food on the table. They feel the oppression of the euro. But I suspect they will not vote in large numbers. They claim it is too late. The Mafia is controlling everything.

I find it surprising that people still revert to the Italian wrongdoers of old to blame. I think they do not really mean Mafia per se. What I sense is that they believe that government has been bought by big business. Believing that, I suspect most will not vote. Simply because they believe their votes will mean nothing. The banks and big business will control in the end no matter who wins.

Sense a similarity with the USA?

Germany could ease the pressure. Germany is making money with the euro. Germany has become in effect the banker for the rest of the euro nations. Which includes Greece.

Germans as a people tend to be anal. Black and white. By the book. Greeks on the other hand go with the flow. They take everything in stride. Are not as serious about things as they probably should be. Like money.

Germany is in a position of power. The third time they have so been in less than 100 years. The Kaiser in 1914 and Hitler in l939 were two instances. Germany felt it was omnipotent. Two world wars resulted.

This Germany/Greece thing is a war that is erupting. Except this time it is with money instead of bullets. Each can have a devastating effect. This euro thing can result in a world wide recession of a sort never before experienced.

I have a suspicion. It is based on what I have experienced and read over the past three weeks. I believe the euro people will win. Why? Because they will vote. They are doing well as indicated hereinbefore under the euro. The people on the street appear to have already given up. They will not turn out in the numbers necessary to throw out the euro and return to the drachma.

I cannot wait till later tonight to see if I have called this correctly.

The trip caught up with me yesterday. I have been at this three weeks. All of a sudden I was tired. Dead tired.

I walked into town and had lunch. Something I have not done since arriving. I then sat in the shade at the sidewalk cafe where I had lunched and watched the world walk by.

Eventually, I got back to my hotel. And my bed. I slept the afternoon away.

I was still tired when I woke. Opted to remain at my hotel and dine in its dining room. Glad I did. A great meal! The service unusually spectacular. I am staying at a small hotel. I have gotten to know everyone. This was the first time they had the opportunity to show me what they could do. They wanted to show me, to please me.

And please me they did! I won’t go through all the specifics, except to relate that the meal was heavy with tomatoes, olives, cheeses and oil. Dessert was a Greek chremboule. Two gins. Beefeater. One of the few places in Mykonos that stocks it. And a shot of something after dinner on the house.

I could not thank them enough.

I was up and out early this morning. Needed a manicure and pedicure desperately. The last ones were more than 3 weeks ago.

I had to walk up the highway about a quarter of a mile. A beautiful salon for nails and massages in a small strip mall. I was their first customer. Everyone sitting around. Ergo, I had three ladies working on me at one time. One on the toes and the other two each had a hand a piece.

A good job! I was pleased.

I asked them if they had voted. They said no. I asked if they were going to vote. They said no. Why, I asked. Mafia!

Not a bright response, but that is the way it is. Again, I have heard that same response many times over the past three weeks.

Now for the fun part of this morning.

I got hit by a car.

There are no sidewalks. The driving lanes are narrow. Drivers speed constantly. The only place for pedestrian traffic is on the edges of the road.

I was in an area that had a three foot stone wall running on both sides of the highway. Between the road edge and the wall was two feet. No more.

I was casually walking down the road against traffic. Staying in my little two feet. All of a sudden this guy came around a curve. There was no oncoming traffic. He had a good fifty feet after the curve to see me. He never tried to avoid me. He clipped my right arm with his passenger door mirror. I went flying over the wall. I looked up to see the car speed away. The driver had to feel the impact and hear its sound. The thud was loud.

I was concerned. The last thing I want is to be sick in a foreign country. There was no one around who saw or could help me. I eventually got up. My right arm beneath the elbow was sore. As was the right side of my neck.

I walked back to my hotel with no difficulty. It has been about two hours since the event and all I am experiencing is pain in the two areas I complained about. I lucked out.

So far on this trip I have survived three earthquakes and one auto accident.

I still have three weeks to go.

A beach day again today. Paradise Beach. The one two days ago was Super Paradise Beach. Two separate beaches. One old, one new. I am going to the older one today.

Enjoy your day! And be careful as you walk.

4 comments on “DAY 21

  1. Lou,

    Here’s what CNN had to say about the Greek vote:

    The leader of Greece’s center-right, pro-bailout New Democracy party claimed “a victory for all Europe” after a first-place showing in Sunday’s parliamentary elections, promising that unpopular austerity measures “will bring the country back to prosperity.”

    New Democracy’s Antonis Samaras now finds himself facing a new round of coalition talks, six weeks after a previous election failed to produce a government. In a brief address after Sunday’s vote, he pledged to form a slate “determined to do what it takes and do it fast.”

    “Today the Greek people expressed the will to stay anchored within the euro, remain in the eurozone and foster growth. This is a victory for all Europe,” Samaras said. “I call on all parties share those objectives to form a stable new government.”

    With nearly 65% of ballots counted, New Democracy won just over 30% of the vote, according to Interior Ministry figures. But that showing translates to about 13 0 seats in the country’s 300-seat parliament, forcing it to seek other coalition members from the fragmented field.

    Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Greece’s leftist, anti-bailout Syriza party, congratulated New Democracy late Sunday, but said his party’s nearly 27% showing has forced Greek leaders to realize the bailout “is a nonviable economic plan.”

    I think you called it, Louis.

  2. We are following your journey daily! Love it! We are great! LA has so many possibilies for Terri. We are going to stay awhile!
    XXOO,
    The Lesbian Wives

  3. Hi Louis,
    We would have paid big money to see your shorts fall! Sounds like you are having quite the adventure! Good for you!
    XXOO,
    The Lesbian Wives

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