Aegina Home & Living - Living in Aegina

 

 

 


LIVING IN AEGINA

What is it REALLY like to live in Aegina?

 

                                                           LIVING
 

LIVING                                                                           OCTOBER 2011

HARD TIMES

The recession is truly here; its evidence is everywhere, particularly on the mainland. I go to Piraeus twice a week and each time I go, I count yet another  business with the ‘FOR RENT’ sign slapped across its window. Who will rent these ghostly buildings? What business will survive these austere times?

Like most people, I can’t believe what I’m seeing…and feeling! Life here is pretty confusing for me, infact someone recently asked how I feel, living here in Greece. I thought long and hard and eventually decided that Greece makes me feel alive. Alive in the raw sense of needing to draw upon life survival skills…Learning another language in order to socialise and communicate my needs, learning to accept that the systems in place (or often not in place) could change at any time but I cannot change them. That I cannot expect to give my children the same life-style, so easily given to them in England and it takes far more energy to seek out a music teacher or an art class that offers free expression and trying to find I.B maths support for my son is exhausting as the tutors are expensive, even today, or they won’t come down to Piraeus and they certainly won’t come to Aegina or if (as in my case,) I find the perfect person who fits most criteria, she leaves for America and again I am in the position of looking…Oh K’a Eleni, we really miss you!!! Does anyone know a good I.B maths teacher who isn’t greedy and lives south of Athens?

My youngest has finally started senior school on the island and three weeks into the first term, the students shut the school because there are not any books. Well I never had books, we always ahd photocopies, files and references. I wil ltry to organise a book swap but the thought of organising this is tiring as my fellow countrymen do not naturally follow the laws of organisation. My daughter is having maths tuition though with a friend and I in exchange will offer his son English lessons…..a knowledge exchange. I would like too to offer this to other children whose parents cannot  afford English lessons. So many people have lost their jobs! So yes, I feel alive, always thinking of solutions to an Increasing number of problems.

People are leaving the country. I know of three friends who have recently left or are leaving for Britain.They crave a prdictable life in which money can be earned on a regullar basis, where schools will run like clockwork, no student strikes. Journeys can be planned and life will develop a controllable rhythm with a financial safety net called a welfare system. There is no money left in Greece, not for loans and certainly not for welfare

This recession though is like a cancer, metastasising through the world with the energy of a tidal wave. When I was recently in London, I couldn’t meet my friends for fear of getting caught up in the riots…and how undignified those rioters were, how devoid of purpose…looting and setting fire to buildings! At least here in Greece, our protesters shout punchy slogans and sing political songs. Don’t forget my fleeing friends that there is a widespread yob culture in Britain; better to be a guest at a Greek riot than a British one!!!

So the whole world is upset and angry because in reality there actually isn’t any money, only air, empty promises and false expectations….and nobody has the answer, there isn’t a solution.

 Perhaps this recesssion is earth’s  survival mechanism that is forcing us back to basics.  A cycle..the theory of chaos in which we have progressed too fast. Our perceived needs outstripping resources

The silver lining of this economic cloud is that finally, nature is being given more of the respect she deserves. By switching off our lights and wearing  thick woollen cardigans instead of heating our houses with expensive fuel, we use less of her reserves. Similarly, for every industry that closes, energy consumption is reduced. If we swap books, clothes, knowledge, we consume less. Unable to afford petrol, we walk or cycle..how wonderful is that? In short, we are being forced into becoming economical animals, to re-build our communities for survival. Wouldn’t it be lovely if mobile phones became extinct?

Meanwhile though, life is harsh, on some more than others and though there is comfort to be gained by imagining an easier life abroad, I believe that we are all going to be feeling alive in the future, wherever we live in the world.


Alison Lorentzos                                                               copyright 2011



 

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