600 km away from the scorching summer hells of Romania lies a land of intelligent people, of ancient civilizations and epic battles. And recent epic fails, for that matter.
Whenever Romanians talk about the global financial crisis, about their low self-esteem as a people, or corruption, theft, politics and those ever-present imaginary highways, there comes what I like to call “the Greece point”. “Aha… yes, we’re doing bad, but look at those Greeks, man! They’re BANKRUPT!”.
Actually, they’re not. I’ve investigated this.
In fact, I’ve investigated quite a lot of things about Greece. No, I don’t have thick files with photos and names, dates and locations of anti-aircraft missile launch pads. That would instantly make me a persona non grata in Greece. And I want to move to Greece.
First of all, it’s close. It takes 12 hours to reach Thessaloniki, by car, from Bucharest. And that’s the main reason. 600 km away, same system, same people, same corruption, but a tremendous change, nevertheless. It’s still the Balkans, but in the Mediterranean. That’s all I needed.
I’ve started learning the language. I did that for about a month and it was hard, far harder than what I had imagined. Although I do well in terms of romance languages and English, greek is… well, it’s all greek, even to me. Up to a point, as James May likes to put it.
After a month of eine, eise and so on, I went to Greece on yet another trip. This time, with a plan to learn as many greek words as possible. And little did I know… it’s not even that hard. All I need to do is learn more Romanian words that used to be a part of my language about 200 years ago. And in 4 days there I learned more Greek than in one month at home with the books.
I am very keen on Geography. I love maps and Google Earth. I used to spend hours looking at the planet. It’s a gigantic show. Now I only look at Greece, taking in the contour of the shoreline, it’s rivers, mountains, cities and villages. And islands.
I don’t want to go to Greece and live on an island, though. I’m not… well… demented. It’s a small scale plan, a down-to-earth (and sea) approach.
This blog is about the realization of this plan.