Aegina Home & Living - Living in Aegina

 

 

 


LIVING IN AEGINA

What is it REALLY like to live in Aegina?

 

                                                           LIVING
 

    LIVING                                                                    FEB/MARCH2012

A TALE OF THREE CITIES   LIVING    

ATHENS

On the train to Piraeus, two Greek people were discussing their homes in Aegina. The lady opposite me mentioned where she lived on the island and they swapped justifications of why they had chosen to live in their specific areas.” So are we all from Aegina in this carriage?” I asked. There is nothing a Greek likes more than a foreigner (from an A rated country) who has decided to live in a D rated country. The lady to my immediate left was not from Aegina but despite this, she asked her fair share of questions about my origins, to whom I was married and how many children I have. She got out at Thissio and a young, thin man of about 30 years, smelling slightly of alcohol replaced her. Joining in with the interrogation of me, the honorary citizen of Aegina he discovered that I was from England. He proceeded to shout that this lady from Aegina was born in England where we have an excellent government that believes in meritocracy and transparency. I was glad that I wasn’t from Germany as I am not sure that I would have been such a welcome guest. He continued to shout how the current Greek government had let them down along with certain Europeans and as we passed the Acropolis, I mentioned that indeed the Greeks although currently a D rated economy, are infact a truly great race of A rated people to whom we should thank for politics, mathematics, democracy, drama and philosophy, to name a few. I was cheered for my comments by the carriage of swaying passengers and as I moved to get out at Monastiraki, my co-passenger who had sadly recently lost his job and his self-respect, behaved chivalrously, stood to let me pass and as I did, he patted my back and repeated his admiration of England and the English.

PARIS

The next day, I arrived in Paris for a meeting. Charles de Gaulle airport disappointed me; a tawdry building packed with badly designed furniture and tatty textiles, blocks of pea green, an air of grey dirt. No car to meet me, I took a taxi across the grey concrete of the Peripherique to my destination, the Hotel Marriot. Low lighting and piped music, my mood dropped to rate E. Interesting delivery of information. At lunchtime, I was delighted to be sat between a gregarious Irish girl and an interesting Iranian resident of Paris. The food was exquisite, veal and olives with generous portions of freshly cooked vegetables. Stimulating conversation and gastronomic excellence, my mood rating increased to a whopping B.

Very helpful staff, a French girl printed out my boarding pass for the Euro star that evening as I knew that I would be incapable of struggling with machines in French at Gare Nord and would probably be robbed as I had already lost a glove and my reading glasses case. The meeting over by 3pm, I took the metro to Saint Germain des pres and chatted to my children whilst sat on a bench outside the abbey. I thoroughly enjoyed my almond croissant and strong French coffee which cost only 3 Euro.

On the Euro star train destined for London, I found myself sharing a table with a delightful family of three from Goa. Curious to know why they had chosen England over Goa, we continued to chat over dinner. “‘I don’t remember having food served on this train 10 years ago!” I exclaimed. “But madam, you are travelling first class”. “Am I”? I exclaimed even louder and secretly thanked the German drug company that had financed my trip.

 

LONDON

What a pleasure it was to arrive at St Pancras station; clean lines solid construction, simple colours all uniting history with current day design. No piped music’ just a symphony of life and people going about their business. If you are a visitor to London, st Pnacras station is a must-see venue, a truly uplifting experience.

The Victoria line to Victoria; trains were running to schedule and one arrived within seconds. No need to think, just switch on the automatic pilot within my memory and travel. I didn’t really register the free newspapers abandoned on seats and the casual discardment of redundant coffee cups and burger boxes but mentally chose a seat free of both.

The connecting train to Surrey was equally as prompt.  I disembarked at my usual suburban station and as I headed towards a taxi, I noticed a young man, probably drunk, seemingly off his head that was drinking something from a cup with a lid and a straw. He was sat on a wall and as I passed, I heard a noise like a drain or a foamy hiss and I am sure that he had lurched forward as I passed but thought nothing of it. I didn’t look back as I am street-wise enough to know that one NEVER makes eye contact with English males when they are seemingly off their heads.

Later on, when I was hanging up my coat, I noticed a dark brown stain, possibly coca-cola, possibly beer and I thought back to the yob on the wall whose evening’s achievement was to spit on my coat and possibly on others. Oh yes, I was back in England where the economy rating is A (or is it B?) and the general culture of fun is to drink to get drunk... What good is an economic rating of A/B if the social rating is set at D (disgusting?)


Alison Lorentzos                                                               copyright 2011



 

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