Posted by: nikusjka | November 3, 2013

Demetri and Bruno

Today I came across a touching movie, precisely showing a Greek hush reality today. The main character of this short movie is a dog – Thanassis. He represents the Greek nation as he goes from being adopted from the street by a family in Ekali (they called him Bruno), and getting abandoned with the economic  crisis hitting everyone. So he comes back to Athens center and wonders the streets. Thanassis shows us many different places around Athens and, most importantly, people, who tell about their new life inside the economic crisis.

The idea of the movie being explained by filmmakerDemetri Sofianopoulos. He found a very original and objective way of showing a Greek reality through the eyes of the dog.

Sofianopoulos drew the inspiration to use a dog as the film’s main character from Loukanikos, the courageous riot dog that achieved worldwide fame in the 2008 Greek riots. Loukanikos was always on the frontline of protests – and on the side of the protestors.

I advice you to watch the video and you`ll get another view of the situation in Greece, different from what you see on the mainstream news.

Demetri and Bruno. Short movie.

 

Posted by: nikusjka | October 14, 2013

Greek Mothers.

It`s not a secret to anyone that traditional Greek mothers are overprotective. Sometimes even too much. Of course, things tend to change with time, but even today – traditions take over. Traditional Greek mother is like a han that covers her kids over with wings of care even when they already hardly fit there. For a Greek mother a child aged 5 and same child 25 years later is the same helpless human being that needs to be fed, washed and learned life lessons. I`ve met couple of Greek guys who are a little below 30 still living with their parents. To my question “Don`t you want independence?”, the answer was “Well, but my mother cooks for me, irons my shirts, cleans the house. Why to move?”.

This traditional approach gave birth to many jokes. Today I came across this hilarious video that give you you a perfect picture of a Greek traditional mother!

You don`t have to speak Greek to laugh at it. I`ll just translate the last sentences as those are EPIC:

Son: “yes”

Mother: “Where have you been, my son? We were looking for you for 10 min!!”

Son: “I`m taking shower, mom!”

Mother: “Listen.. DID YOU EAT ANYTHING?”

Posted by: nikusjka | September 18, 2013

A tale about Cyprus

Cyprus. When I came here I instantly realized it’s not a usual place.
Cyprus developed really fast. 50 years ago it was s calm island with no forex companies, offshore providers, tall buildings or proper roads ( well the roads are still not there;)) ). People were leading Mediterranean island life style in its full meaning. Small bakeries were prospering, local grocery man was always around ( if you happened not to have your own vegetables grown), donkeys still were in use and rare tourists enjoyed authentic tavern experience.
50 years is not much. It’s not much for a county to change its pace. It’s not much for people to adapt to new lifestyle. It’s like throwing a little kid in the river and watching him learning how to swim. He might survive that time but he might be traumatized by this water experience forever.
Today I got a chance to listen to a 60 year old Cypriot man – mr. Harris. He runs a little bakery shop with his wife in my area of Limasol. He grew up in that Cyprus. That Cyprus 50 years ago. He tells how he used to deliver sweets to his regular customer, sit, chat with them. He tells how easy and fulfilling it was to watch people enjoying his creations. He tells how the new generation doesn’t value family and rather go to Starbucks for coffee and drop by a chain bakery shop for sweets. Even Cypriots are loosing this authentic habit, what to say about foreigners who might never see the real Cyprus. His eyes are little sad and he grabs my hand in a gesture of hope. He knows Cyprus is changed forever. Cyprus, that he knew, is not same and for mr.Harris these changes were too fast. He didn’t manage to adapt. He will have to sell his shop – a business that he ran all his life with pride and passion.

People say that Cyprus was invaded by Turks. To me the biggest invasion of this island was by money. It did some good things to the place I must admit, but, as always, money took the soul away. Spoiled by Russians, used to easy banknotes, feeling like kings and studying in UK. That’s the new generation of Cypriots. Rare person realizes how traumatizing those last 50 years were for a Cypriot soul.

I really hope that Cyprus, this Mediterranean kid, will find his way. The right way. But for now people like Mr. Harris will continue to put locks on their shops.

20130918-230044.jpg

Posted by: nikusjka | September 14, 2013

Athens on a budget. Insiders guide.

If you couldn’t get a unique copy of “Seriously We Think Free” Magazine, then here is a full original article. I believe that this guide will help anyone who wants to see REAL Athens and explore this amazing city. I lived there, so you can rely on this 🙂

Athens on a budget.

So you decided (or still thinking) to visit a city that is well-known cradle of Western Civilization? Well I hope that by the end of this article you`ll fall in love with Athens (as I once did) and will learn how to enjoy this amazing city on a budget. Straight away I want to mention few things about this city. Athens needs to be discovered. It`s not like Rome, where you go and everything is pretty like Italian Vogue. It`s not like London where all interesting places are concentrated around the center. Athens are different. You`ll need to wonder the smallest streets, take trips to various neighborhoods, walk a lot and I`m sure you`ll find the unique places to be loved and remembered.

 Getting to Athens.

There are many ways how to come to this ancient city. The best one really depends where you`re coming from.

Plane is quite a cheap option if you`re coming somewhere in January-February – these are the cheapest months. June-August are the most expensive. Of course, if you book well in advance, you`ll probably manage to get a well-priced ticket.

You can try trains (Greek trains www.ose.gr) or busses (Greek bus company www.ktelbus.com) from various destinations in Greece and Europe. If you are an EU student you can get a discount on a ticket, so don`t forget your student ID!

Read More…

Posted by: nikusjka | August 30, 2013

Printed! I`m in print!

Hey guys!

I think forgot to tell you about my pride 🙂

My article about Athens was featured in the first in the world Magazine that TRAVELS – “Seriously We Think Free”.

Seriously We Think Free Magazine

Seriously We Think Free Magazine

It`s a very interesting magazine that 2 girls started from University project and now got as far as 1st printed issue!!!. Great job! I personally really liked the idea and the content. Besides that design and the style are supercool!
This magazine is suppose to travel from one reader to another and gather additional content and comments on the way. Magazine that connects people, how about that? 🙂

Read More…

Posted by: nikusjka | August 26, 2013

You know you`re in Cyprus, when…

Scene 1. As usually hot, sunny Saturday. Walking through the Old town of Limassol. Narrow picturesque streets, some tourists with cameras and Cypriots sipping coffee in the shadow of a coffee shops. Suddenly, a Russian pop-song from the early 90-s hits my ears… “Какао ка-ка-о-о-о-о-о”. It`s coming from one of the cafeterias on the Limassol Castle square, probably in hopes to attract some Russian visitors. A song that hardly fits to the scene I`ve described above. This is the moment you know for sure you`re in Limassol.

Scene 2. Got on the bus number 30. A cute Cypriot bus driver, smiling gives me a ticket. A short-talk in Greek and I pass inside to find an empty seat. Blue bus takes a smooth ride along the beach line of Limassol. Just before a big shopping mall the bus driver announces in English: “Next stop – Debenhams” and repeats the same in…. RUSSIAN! Funny-funny accent he has, but he said it! I`m shocked. No Greek, just English and Russian. I know that Cypriots hardly use public transport here in Limassol. But still… Another moment when you`re sure – you`re in Limassol!

Priceless 🙂

Today I watched a very curious interview on BBC World “HardTalk” with Nikos Dendias – Greek Minister of Public Order and Citizen Protection. He was discussing about Golden Dawn (Χρυσή Αυγή) – a right-wing extremist political organization and political party in Greece.
There are extremist political parties in almost every country, but Golden Dawn (Χρυσή Αυγή) got a lot of media attention after parliamentary elections in 2012, when they managed to win about 20 seats in the parliament. That`s where it got to a point of not only an extremist party no one really cares about, but a movement of people supported by many Greek voters. It got a little bit scary that so many people supported their ideas of “cleaning” Greece from foreigners. This is what Mr. Dendias is talking about – worry.
I saw them myself once in a little village outside Athens – Anavyssos. They marched all dressed in black with wooden sticks through a village fair that gathered families and kids. It was scary, as I was the only foreigner there (thanks God I don`t really look that foreign in Greece) and when a young woman came to me to give their brochure, honestly, my heart just dropped.
This BBC interview raises many interesting and essential questions: why Golden Dawn (Χρυσή Αυγή) got suddenly so popular? Do they have a bright future in Greece? Is minister Nikos Dendias right and government should worry about Golden Dawn (Χρυσή Αυγή) and their growing popularity? Are Greeks turning into Neo-Nazis or they`re just that scared for their future so they are ready to support even the craziest parties in a hope for a change?
Too many questions and too little answers… Do you have an opinion? Have you met any members of Golden Dawn (Χρυσή Αυγή)? Let me know as I want to find at least one answer to this political puzzle.

Posted by: nikusjka | June 24, 2013

Service in Greece… and Cyprus

I thought for a while about how to start this post. But after it took almost 30 minutes and several nerve cells for my Fredo Espresso to reach my hands this weekend, I can`t keep it any longer only to myself.

Living in Greece makes you spoiled in a way. It gets you used to great coffees, delicious food and, most importantly, fast, polite but at the same time casually nice service. Most people think that Greeks are lazy, slow and not willing to work. Well, my dear friends, it depends with whom you compare.

There is this Greek word φιλοξενία (filoksenia), that literally means “love of strangers”. In official translation it`s “hospitality”, but in reality it`s much more than that. Filoksenia is a generosity of spirit, a joyful kind of the-best-of-what’s-mine-is-yours attitude in which Greeks take great pride. They enjoy it. Why did I bring it up? Because that`s a part of a character of every Greek. Therefore when you go to taverna, cafeteria or a restaurant, you many times feel like home. Waiters are not stiff or serious, or too giggly and distracted. They are doing their job with knowledge, pride, but at the same time willing to make you happy. And it all flows so natural that I really think they don`t even make an effort… 🙂 I generalize here a little bit, so don`t start throwing rocks at me straight away. But overall that`s what kind of feeling I get after living in Athens.

So imagine now me, being in Cyprus. Read More…

Posted by: nikusjka | June 24, 2013

We all speak Greek!

Returning to the old post of mine, where Tommy Lee explained why being Greek is great, I wanna add to the discussion this photo. If anyone is still in doubt, that Greek language is useful – please, check how many Greek words you`re using yourself in the everyday life. 🙂

Pretty impressive!

We all speak Greek

Posted by: nikusjka | April 3, 2013

Athens Fashion Week 2013

People in Athens always follow fashion. So no wonder these days Xclusive Designers Week (AXDW) takes place in Athens. Athens Xclusive Designers Week is the official international fashion week in Greece. Like any other fashion week it gathers top local and international designers (Emanuel Ungaro, Vivienne Westwood, Guy Laroche, Krizia, Vivia Ferragamo, Barbara Bui, Francois & Marithe Girbaud, to name a few) and more than 2500 visitors.

In March 2013, Mercedes-Benz became the title sponsor of the 13th organization of AXDW, which was renamed to Mercedes-Benz Athens Xclusive Designers Week.

If you missed the shows you can take a look at designers` list:

http://axdw.gr/brands

Or check out their YouTube channel, to feel like you`ve been there 🙂
http://www.youtube.com/user/AXDWeek

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