August — and silence everywhere

15 Aug

There’ve been lotsa times when I’ve felt like compiling a list of things that are annoying about living in Europe or Greece, but today let me just bitch about one.

When and how did it become so deeply ingrained in the subconscious of every European that EVERYONE had to go on vacation in August and EVERYTHING not related to August vacation had to close? F*cking EVERYTHING.

This makes beautiful vacation spots packed uncomfortably to the hilt and leaves the country’s cities and their economies dead for a month — so that you can’t go on vacation to, say, Paros, without being surrounded by drunk guiris*, and if you stay in Athens you can’t find aspirin or toilet paper, much less serious medical attention, anywhere for a month. This can’t be fun for vacationers, unless you’re 19 (do you like having nowhere to sit on even the deck of your ferry to Paros, or waiting at highway tolls for twenty minutes, or not being able to get a table at any restaurant in the resort you happen to be in?) and probably causes huge losses in the urban business sector.

It’s maddening. I mean there’s the logic of “ok, if the competition is going to close, I’ll close too” and then there’s the New York logic, I guess, of “if the competition is going to close, LET ME STAY OPEN AND MAKE SOME SERIOUS MONEY, make their clientele mine, and take my business to another level.” Why doesn’t logic #2 prevail? Doesn’t it make more sense to stagger people’s vacations and businesses’ and establishments’ closures into different shifts, including doctors and hospitals, than just to shutter everything at the same time.

* Guiri is an extremely unflattering, if not straight out nasty term used by Spaniards to refer to tourists, particularly northern European, particularly British, particularly female, tourists who come to Mediterranean countries in the summer, get drunk, act up and stumble about and fall and vomit in the streets. Don’t use it if you don’t know your audience. It’s kinna misogynistic and has the connotation of slutty too. The British guys, for example, who come to Spain in the summer, get trashed, trash your bar, and beat each other up for fun, are rarely referred to as guiris.

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