The truth about the blue booth

Currently in Athens city-center, Syntagma Square, there are large blue stands with loud pop music playing and flat screens televisions.  Initially, I thought that they were set up for some sort of performance.  But, it has been over a week and no performance has enveloped.  They have tables and chairs set up outside of them and I see groups of people sitting in them all of the time.  So, one day I decided to sit at the mysterious blue stand and see what happens.  Nothing happened. 

 I didn’t know what they were, but I knew that I wanted them gone soon.  They are annoying and they ruin the atmosphere of the square.  So I asked my Greek Key teacher Maria.  In Greek Key, we go on walks all over Athens to areas that we otherwise might not explore on our own.  I saw a mini blue stand in the neighborhood we were exploring and pointed it out to Maria. 

 “O, those are for the elections coming up.  They are for the extreme right, very conservative party.  Such fucking shit. I hate them,” she explained.

 Mind you, I’m still trying to get used to my European professors and their badass nature.  Maria, and the rest of Athens I later discovered, rolls her own cigarettes.  The first time that I met her she was smoking one, but it’s homemade look made me think that my professor was smoking the wacky tabacky.  Professor Stavros even cussed out some Italian tourists, in Italian of course, because they were letting their child run around the Acropolis as he was trying to teach.

 But the real shock is that I, a member of the Cousineau-Roberts liberal mecca, sat at a right wing party propaganda booth in public.  Hilarious.  I guess ignorance really is bliss-and sometimes the truth is just plain embarrassing.  Well, if I’m gonna be a pseudo-conservative it may as well be in a foreign country. 

 On the bus ride home yesterday I was thinking about Greek politics and asking Joanna (Arcadia social director) about the right-wing party and their elaborate set-ups in Syntagma. She said, “I don’t really understand why they are playing such loud happy music.  We didn’t really have a great year with the fires and financial downturn.”  In that same moment, a fight broke out on the bus.  Between some punks? No between two (and then three) old men.  I mean yelling, hands up in each other’s faces fighting.  I have never seen someone that old become that heated about anything.  It was great.  I waited till the next stop to get off because I didn’t want to miss anything (like I can understand right? It was all in Greek).  But their tones and movements said enough.  Apparently, they were arguing about politics with the elections coming up. 

 For the first time I really saw Greece in it’s true form-as the birthplace of democracy.  As the home to the original freethinkers.  While I may not know about everything that is going on around me (ie the blue booths), I like to think that my curiosity might make me a freethinker as well.  A democrat wouldn’t have sat at the blue booth…but maybe a freethinking (and genuinely spacey) person would have. 

 (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, Uncle John)




One Response to “The truth about the blue booth”

  1. Kate Haworth Says:

    I’d sit in that blue booth with you, simply because you would be there… which basically makes me the opposite of a free-thinker. Oh well, I’ll concede my free will/ take up pseudo-conservatism/ risk my safety on a bus with politically enraged curmudgeons if I could be with you in Greece. 🙂

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