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03 October 2005

Neue Wohnung und alles nicht gemacht

Erstes Wochenende in der neuen Wohung, keine Ausflüge

So, das erste Wochenende in der neuen Wohnung ist vorbei. Die Wohnung ist wirklich angenehm und nachdem das meiste von meinem Gerümpel ausgepack ist, lässt sich in mein neues, schönes Zimmer geniessen. Natürlich noch kein Internet-Anschluss im Haus (ausser über GPRS).

Pläne für das Wochenende waren a.) ein Kurztripp zum Kap Sounion und als Variante b.) ein Besuch der Nationalen Pinakothek mit anschliessendem Kaffeekränzchen im Roof Garden des Hiltons, sowie als Variante c.) eine Fahrt auf den Lykabettos Hügel. Nix von allem gemacht. Dafür gut geschlafen (ohne den Verkehrslärm der alten Wohnung) und schon ganz viel eingerichtet und hergerichtet in der neuen Wohnung. (Oh Mann, was für ein lahmer Post! Vielleicht enthält er wenigstens ein paar Anregungen für Sonntagsausflüge in Athen...)

Posted by betabug at 11:52 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
06 October 2005

Thinking about the Zope Witch's Future

Extend and expand!

There was not that much feedback on the Zope witch (a RewriteRule generator) yet, but what I got so far was positive. This morning on freenode's #zope, TinoW suggested including the witch into the Zope distribution, possibly as part of the Virtual Host Monster (VHM) or its help system. I had already been thinking about this, and about some other expandation plans. Desired endresult? Why, world domination of course, read on...

Continue reading "Thinking about the Zope Witch's Future"
Posted by betabug at 10:28 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

The Cold of the Night in the Street

Going shopping in the evening

There is another big city syndrome next to the one Saad mentioned (and I commented upon). After work on thursday I took the gf on a small "volta", out for shopping and cafe. We went to Victoria subway station (my old neighborhood) and from there up Patission. Patission is a big boulevard with fancy shops and about 6 lanes of traffic. When we went there it was already dark, and the darkness with the lights of the city got me thinking.

There is a certain atmosphere that I started to like, as one starts to like a nightmare that comes back year after year. It is that feeling of being out and lost at night in the city. Having all those big buildings around you, those cold lights and the expensive shops. The shops are an important part of the nightmare. They would offer a place to rest, to go "inside", but they do so only for a fine, only for the ones with the cash to spend. In the nightmare I might be out of money (like George Orwell in "Down and Out in Paris and London"). Always I'm out on the street. When I am alone outside in a city, especially at the hour when the evening turns into the night, I start to dive into this atmosphere of the beloved melancholic dream. This time I wasn't alone, so I just had a look at the well known feeling coming to visit from afar.

In Athens there are illegal merchants from third world countries out on the sidewalks, probably like in all other big european cities by now. They reminded me of how my imaginary nightmare is the truth for many people. Your source of income might be a box of beads and rings on a sidewalk in a city thousands of miles from where you were born, but as a human being you still need a place to retreat at night, somewhere to curl up and not only sleep but feel a bit of safety. It goes without mention that I am and feel privileged in this respect.

After actual shopping and window shopping, we went to eat something and then we went for sweets in a cafe from an american ice cream chain. A place full of light (and it would offer warmth too, but in early October in Athens, there is no big demand for that, you can sit outside all night with a light sweater). Sipping a mild shake and flipping through a magazine becomes much more of a treat after an imaginative brush with the cold night.

Posted by betabug at 23:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
07 October 2005

Installing a "Brother" Printer

Can you believe this?

This may sound like a joke. Today I had to install a new printer in the office, a Brother HL-5170DN, a small laser printer with an ethernet port. It turned into an adventure. Of course, actually putting the printer in place was easy enough. Setting it up from two Mac OS X clients was easy too (even though I had to install the PPD from the CD, it seems this one does not come with the system?). Then I had to set it up on a laptop with Windows XP too. What a nightmare...

Continue reading "Installing a "Brother" Printer"
Posted by betabug at 17:41 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
08 October 2005

Flying on the Dolphin to Hydra

Shake it!

Right now I'm sitting in the flying dolphin from Pireus to Hydra. Hydra is a small island on the southern side of the eastern tip of Peloponissos. My first trip in a boat like this, and the sucker is shaking like crazy. A plane in heavy turbulences is nothing compared to this. Seems to be absolutely normal to the other passengers. Haven't seen anyone running to the toilets either.

It's a bit of a pity that one can't go outside to smell and see the sea, feel the sun and wind. But it sure gets us there fast. The tripp is an idea on short notice, a moment out of the big city. Tomorrow we'll be back.

Posted by betabug at 17:15 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
09 October 2005

Quiet Evening on Carfree Hydra

Give me no car any day

For the last lap after stopping in Poros, I was able to snatch a window seat. I had a first class view on the spray of the sea and on approaching Hydra. We arrived well shaken but in one piece. Hydra is a car free island, which is very impressive. Such quiet, such fresh air, what a change from Athens.

We went up the small paths into the back of town, where we by chance asked a lady for a hotel. She knew one and it turned out to be quite pleasant, with a view. We left our bags behind and were free for nore strolling around. Hydra has no modern buildings, all houses are traditional. There is a lot of tourism (compared to Limnos), but it's acceptable (and less than e.g. Corfu, but prices are higher on Hydra).

We chance upon a play of greek shadow theatre (Καραγκιόζης), something I had been looking out for a long time. Sadly the show was not quite up to it, they lost their audience of island children fast. We left to eat fish, drink Ouzo. After that we did some more walking around, in that wonderfull atmosphere without cars. And then we went to sleep, deepest sleeps since months.

Posted by betabug at 10:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

First Moment Back From Hydra

Traffic Shock

So I'm back from Hydra, half a Saturday and half a Sunday without cars in a beautyfull town. We've eaten well for lunch, we bought almond sweets, we saw a lot of nice things. I took some pictures and will write a bigger roundup of impressions. What already came up for me is the shock of coming back to Pireus and Athens. After the quiet and fresh air being back here is hard. I'm complaining all the time whenever I hear someone honking his horn, whenever cars block my way. What a lamer I've become :-)

Posted by betabug at 21:48 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
10 October 2005

Found Someone for the HTML/CSS Job

Welcome Andreas to the world of Zope!

As mentioned in HTML and CSS (and Zope) job offer, we were looking to hire someone with HTML/CSS skills. After a long, long search we finally got Andreas at the office. He is full of interest and drive to get going, he is very interested in Open Source, so he'll probably get along fine with Zope. On the other side he uses Emacs... but maybe we'll teach him to use vi anyway :-) But what this means now: Job offer closed!

Posted by betabug at 12:16 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
11 October 2005

Beobachtungen am Morgen

Schweizerdeutsch in Zografou

Heute morgen aus dem Haus gekommen und ein kleines Mädchen mit seiner Mutter gesehen. Gehört, wie die kleine sagt: "Dä Mah, isch das de Papa?" Bemerkenswert, wie gross ist die Chance in einem Athener Vorort ein kleines Mädchen zu sehen, das Schweizerdeutsch spricht? Und was da wohl für eine Geschichte dahinter steckt? Ich habe ja nur ein kleines Bruchstück gehört.

Posted by betabug at 08:53 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Next Smart Phone?

The successor to the P910 announced

As noted on slashdot and on Tor's blog, Sony Ericsson showed off the successor to the P910, the P990. A bit more about it in this article on mobilegazette. But enough of the linkage, now for my opinion...

Continue reading "Next Smart Phone?"
Posted by betabug at 10:06 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Ζητείται συγκάτοικος

Μπες στο πιο blog σπίτι της Αθήνας!

Μια πρώην συγκάτοικο μου, με ρώτησε αν μπορώ να βάλω αυτήν την αγγελία:

Ψάχνω συγκάτοικο, κατά προτίμηση κοπέλα, σε επιπλωμένο διαμέρισμα στο Παγκράτι με ψυγείο, κουζίνα, πλυντήριο, τηλέφωνο, Ίντερνετ. Ενοίκιο 220 ευρώ συν κοινόχρηστα. Τατιάνα
online από 2010-02-02 επικοινωνήστε στο email:

Παρακαλώ μην απαντάτε στα comments από κάτω, στείλτε mail κατευθείαν!

Αυτή η σελίδα αρχικά είχε την παλαιά μας αγγελία, που δεν ισχύει πια:

(Update 2009: έχουν περάσει 4 χρόνια, αυτή η αγγελία δεν ισχύει πια

Ψάχνουμε συγκάτοικο, κατά προτίμηση μη καπνιστή, σε επιπλωμένο διαμέρισμα, στου Ζωγράφου, κοντά στο πανεπιστήμιο. Ενοίκιο €167. Είμαστε ένας (γνωστός) Ελβετός και μία Γερμανίδα και ψάχνουμε ακόμα έναν Έλληνα. (Ναι, ακούγεται σαν ανέκδοτο...) Στείλε mail ή κάνε comment!

Posted by betabug at 17:25 | Comments (29) | Trackbacks (0)
12 October 2005

Schränke nach Kreta

Ich weiss, es ist verwirrend

Das ganze Theater mit dem Internet und dem Web, das ist schon arg verwirrend. Da hatte ich vor kurzem IKEA in der Nähe vom Flughafen Athen besucht und einen kleinen Bericht darüber geschrieben. Und heute kommt ein Kommentar dazu rein, wo jemand zwei Schränke nach Kreta geliefert bekommen will.

Continue reading "Schränke nach Kreta"
Posted by betabug at 13:32 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
14 October 2005

Interessanter Artikel zu Karolos Papoulias

Wer hätte das gedacht?

So wie es ausschaut, hat der "neue" griechische Staatspräsident mehr auf dem Kasten, als man auf den ersten Blick sieht. In einem Weblog-Eintrag von Gerd Höhler, dem deutschen Handelsblatt-Korrespondenten in Athen, bekommt man interessantes zu höhren. Über die Amtseinsetzung von Karolos Papoulias habe ich schon mal was geschrieben. Mir war Stefanos Stefanopoulos etwas lebhafter erschienen, aber das ist bei Politikern ja immer so eine Sache. Den Handelsblatt-Blog werde ich wohl noch weiterhin verfolgen.

Den Namen von Karolos Papoulias hatte ich aus irgendeinem Grund noch aus den 80er Jahren in den Ohren, konnte ihn aber nicht mehr einordnen. Die Geschichte mit der Wohnung im Zentrum erinnert mich an Antonis Tritsis (link auf Griechisch), auch einen eher ungewöhnlichen Politiker der 80er Jahre, der 1992 verstarb. Der war als Bürgermeister Athens mit dem Moped unterwegs statt mit der Dienstlimo.

Posted by betabug at 09:22 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Fairy Tale Movie

Charlie and the chocolate factory

It's been a long time that we have seen a movie worth the 7 Euro for a ticket here. Most of the time we just looked for the least worst movie in the theatres. So we had actually been looking forward to this one coming to the cinemas in Athens.

"Charlie and the chocolate factory" is a fairy tale. It has a message about little children, families and values. And it drives those points home with the tough drive of a Grimm Brothers piece. Ugly things happen to bad kids. It comes out all good in the end in the movie (it wouldn't be hollywood without that). When the opening titles came in I was surprised and delighted to read that the movie was based on a book by Roald Dahl. He sure has the wit and dark humour to write something like that.

Hollywood also stands behind the pictures of the fairy tale world: Large, larger, passing by all restraints of the logical world. What comes out is a colourfull world, placative, comic. There are big dance scenes and weird landscapes. An optical language of bright plastic toy kits, but digestible even to adults with taste.

Another outcome of the evening: We discovered that the distance to cinemas, shops and restaurants on Alexandras Avenue is close enough to walk from my new home. Nice, so again I have a place to go out close by.

Posted by betabug at 23:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
15 October 2005

Όλη η Αθήνα ένα χωριό

Χαιρετίσματα άπο την κυρία Κατερίνα

Στην καινούρια μου γειτονιά ψάχναμε για τον χασάπη. Στο δρόμο ρωτήσαμε μια κυρία, η όποια μας εξήγησε που θα πάμε. "Εκεί στον κύριο Χρήστο, έχει το καλύτερο κρέας εδώ πέρα και να πείτε ότι σας έστειλε η Κατερίνα."

Τον βρήκαμε και του είπαμε ό,τι μας είχε πει. Την επόμενη φορά που θα ψωνίσει εκεί, φαντάζομαι πως θα έχουνε και εκείνοι θέμα για κουβέντα.

Posted by betabug at 14:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Thoughts on Hydra

When normal becomes special

The trip to Hydra left a deep impression on me. I visited an island devoid of cars and motorcycles. I filled up on oxygen and clean air. I let my ears rest in the quiet and the few excellent sounds. Like when walking through the streets discovering a restaurant by hearing the chatter and clinging of glasses and plates. Like hearing the footsteps of other pedestrians on the next street. Read on for more thoughts and experiences...

Continue reading "Thoughts on Hydra"
Posted by betabug at 20:01 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
17 October 2005

Pinakothek, Hilton

...und Fridays (am Sonntag)

Diesen Sonntag habe ich es mal geschafft früh genug aufzustehen, um die griechische Nationalgallerie zu besuchen, die Sonntags um 14 Uhr schliesst. Das Programm rundeten wir dann mit einem Besuch im guten, alten Hilton und bei TGI Fridays (einem amerikanischen Ketten-Bar-Cafe-Pub Laden) ab...

Continue reading "Pinakothek, Hilton"
Posted by betabug at 09:11 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (1)

IE Bug Bitten

Internet Explorer Cannot Save to Cache error

We had been bitten by another IE bug here with the application we're building. Our customers using IE6 got a message "Internet Explorer can not save to cache", whenever they tried to save an image. Our application is working over https and puts out "Cache-Control: No Cache" headers. These are some ingredients that trigger the "cannot save to cache" bug in lame Internet Explorer 6. After suspecting my own code for a while and changing stuff around to check, I STFW (searched the f* web) and came up with that M$ support page. In case it goes away, here is the info in short:

Continue reading "IE Bug Bitten"
Posted by betabug at 10:13 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (1)
19 October 2005

Switching to reject_rbl_client on Postfix / Mac OS X Server

Messing with the config file

On a Mac OS X Server 10.3 machine, the config file was having lots of warnings:

postfix/smtpd[5270]: warning: 
restriction reject_maps_rbl is going away. 
Please use reject_rbl_client  instead
I was searching up and down on the web to find out what exactly would be the right way to get rid of the warning. The problem is that I did not find where Mac OS X server stores the records from the GUI "Server Admin", so I could not "automatically" include them. (BTW: #postfix on freenode won the price for this weeks most unhelpfull irc channel this month, a well formulated question with a lot of background info and it gets ignored like it's a metaquestion from a known lamer? Go back to talking about beer, #postfix.) Read on for the solution...

Continue reading "Switching to reject_rbl_client on Postfix / Mac OS X Server"
Posted by betabug at 15:33 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Listen to iPod While on Hold

Stuffing an iPod Shuffle in a company phone system
iPod shuffle in phone system

Our new company phone switchboard can play music while callers are waiting "on hold"... off an iPod Shuffle. Our boss was not satisfied with having callers listen to some lame synthiepop Mozart castration, instead callers should be able to listen to the likes of The Cure, The Stones, Pink Floyd, and other similar bigshots. The phone center hardware has an audio input to hook up something like a portable CD player, but one CD is certainly not enough. So an idea came up...

iPod shuffle mounted on phone system

The iPod shuffle holds much more music than a CD, it can do random playback. Why not hook up that one? No moving parts means less breakage, energy consumption is pretty low, sound quality certainly is good enough, loading up new music is a snap.

Connection was easy enough with an audio cable. Energy was a bit more of a problem, the battery lasts only 12 hours, not enough for 365/7/7, so charging the device was needed. First stop was USB, because that's the shuffles port and the ISDN connectors have USB connectors. But both systems want to be clients (peripherals), not computers. Plus it was not possible to find a matching converter cable, so we could not test out if the shuffle would charge off the ISDN equipment.

In the end we found out that a "wall-wart" 220V USB-charger adapter, bought from Apple, would do the job. The shuffle fits right on to it, making a mounting point for the device unnecessary. The pictures are a bit hazy, but one can make out the shuffle on top of the ac adaptor, plugged into the T-piece electricity outlet. The black cable on the first pic is the audio cable to the telephone switchboard. The Shuffle itself is the smallest part of all the installation.

Posted by betabug at 17:10 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
23 October 2005

Not-So-Hotspotting from Starbucks

Sitting out with friends and a PowerBook
slacking at starbucks

Right now I'm in a Starbucks here in Athens, trying to get some work done via their wireless "hotspot". It was plain easy to connect. The Mac just jumps over points 1-7 of the connection instructions, with a simple "Your ususal Networks are not available, do you want to connect to 'Forthnet'"? The connection is a bit shaky, I had to switch Airport on and off a couple of times, because my ssh connection froze (screen to the rescue, ofcoz). More of a turn off is the price tag: 6 Euro for 2 hours. Otherwise it's relaxed here, gf and flatmate-grrrl are chatting away and learning for uni, I'm hacking along.

Right when I tried to post this, the connection went down. I was still able to connect to the wireless network, but dhcp would not give me an IP. After several tries I gave up. We went in for the chatting and after a while left for home. Now I'm back on GPRS to post this.

Posted by betabug at 21:30 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
25 October 2005

Making COREBlog Comment Moderation Admin Friendlier

Save a step each day

Keeping SPAM out of weblog comments is a big priority these days. I set up COREBlog to require comment moderation and to notify me by mail of new comments. So when one of those mails arrive I have to log in and click to get it going. I just made that go faster.

Since I'm not logged into the admin interface all time and since comments sometimes come in on old posts, navigating to the right comment is sometimes a bit of a drag. But the URL that gets me to the comment moderation page in question derives straight from the ID of the commented post, so instead of this line from the COREBlog notification howto...

EntryID  :%s

I now use this...
EntryID / Moderate :
...and now I can copy&paste the URL to go straight to moderate the comment. It gets expanded right to the proper URL.

Not that too many comments are comming in, but maybe you (yes you!) have something witty to comment to one of the weblog entries (hint, hint!).

Posted by betabug at 11:20 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (1)

Comment Spammers from

Stepping into an ugly mess

Some (new?) spambot is trawling my site lately, possibly looking for open comment forms. I see some of them coming in from hosts like ( and ( Searching the web for references to shows lots of guestbook and bulletin board bot entries and a page on the "Spam Huntress" weblog (and following to this one about "new master spambot"). Tracerouting those IPs reveals that they seem to go through -- which belongs to (Net Access Corporation, a spam-friendly hosting provider, who knows?). Maybe I'll send the URL of this post here to Read on for a bit more details...

Continue reading "Comment Spammers from"
Posted by betabug at 16:02 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
26 October 2005

Scary Temperatures and Nice Music

News from Norway, France
Pine grove near Vas. Sofias street

Tor reports this morning temperatures of -15C in Norway. Which I promptly used to scare the gf. Here in Athens right now it's 19C (plus, not minus) and we are expecting 24C during the day. At night it gets a bit chilly with 16C (and it was colder a week ago). Seems to me I'm living on the right end of Europe right now :-)

In other news Saad (of #bsdcow fame) has posted his monthly Wonderful Songs Feature for November 2005. He recommends each month the songs (and albums) that he listened to and enjoyed that month. His selections are off the main road of the music industry, lots of "independent" stuff, all pretty laid back. Recommended.

The picture was made on monday morning, when I took a slightly other way to work. I came by this beautyfull park full of pine trees. Almost a little grove or even a forest. And next to it this big racetrack of a road. (Click on the image for a bigger view.)

Posted by betabug at 09:59 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
27 October 2005

Laaaanges Wochenende in Sicht

28. Oktober, Feiertag, in historischer Variante

Morgen ist der 28. Oktober, Feiertag in Griechenland. Passenderweise fällt er auf Freitag, um ein langes Wochenende zu generieren. Das hinderte einen grossen Teil der Einwohner Athens nicht daran, das Wochenende noch weiter zu verlängern und bereits gestern (Mittwoch) abzureisen. Lokale Radiostationen meldeten Staus an den Ausfallstrassen. Die ausnehmend angenehmen Temperaturen haben sicher ihren Teil daran.

Historischer Hintergrund: Der 28. Oktober... der italienische Diktator Mussolini stellte dem griechischen Diktator Metaxa ein Ultimatum. Durchmarscherlaubnis (faktisch Übergabe des Landes) für italienische Truppen nach Nordafrika oder Krieg. Der 28. Oktober ist der Tag, an dem Metaxa mit einem kategorischen "όχι" ("Nein") dieses Ultimatum zurückwies. Das Resultat war Krieg, zuerst zwischen Italien und Griechenland, später auch mit Deutschland.

Passend zum historischen Event plant die WG vom betabug die Anschaffung (und öffentliche Präsentation) einer griechischen Fahne. Weiter Pläne für das Wochenende: Sounion, Karagiozis, Museen, Ausschlafen. Mal sehen, was wir alles schaffen.

Posted by betabug at 13:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
29 October 2005

ΙΚΕΑ στην Αθήνα ή στην σοβιετική ένωση;

Δεν φτάνει μόνο να πληρώνει κάποιος για το franchising όταν ξεμείνουν και από σακούλες
crowd in front of IKEA Athens)

Σήμερα πήγαμε για ψώνια στο ΙΚΕΑ της Αθήνας, δίπλα στο αεροδρόμιο. Καλή ιδέα, γιατί μας χρειαζόντουσαν διάφορα πραγματάκια, κυρίως για την κουζίνα και για το καινούριο σπίτι (ναι, βρήκε τελικά!) της gf μου. Όμως την ίδια ιδέα την είχανε και πάρα πολλοί άλλοι και το IKEA δεν ήτανε έτοιμο για αυτό. Στην φωτογραφία βλέπουμε την είσοδο του μαγαζιού, με κόσμο που περιμένει, λες και είναι μπουζουξίδικο και τραγουδάνε ο Σάκης και η Πέγκυ. Μας αφήνανε δέκα δέκα στο μαγαζί, μόνο που ο πορτιέρης δεν μας είπε για το ντύσιμό μας.

Μέσα χαμός, τι περίμενες αδελφέ; Μερικά από τα πιο χρήσιμα πράγματα είχανε εξαντληθεί, μάλλον εδώ και εβδομάδες. Είχα την αίσθηση ότι ήμουνα πάλι παιδάκι στο πολυκατάστημα GUM στη Μόσχα του 1985, περνάει ο λαός και βλέπει τα όμορφα πράγματα, μα ό,τι μπορούν να πάρουν δεν υπάρχει πια. Παράδειγμα; Οι Σουηδοί δεν φανταζόντουσαν το κρύο που κάνει εν Ελλάδει τέλος Οκτωβρίου, και το "run" που θα κάνουν οι Αθηναίοι για τα παπλώματα της σουηδικής εταιρείας. Πάπαλα τα παπλώματα! Μεθαύριο που θα ρίξει τα πρώτα 2 μέτρα χιόνι της Αθηναϊκής σεζόν θα παγώσουν πολλά ποδαράκια στην πρωτεύουσα.

Εξαντλήθηκαν και φωτιστικά, καρέκλες, κρεβάτια. Συνήθως τα πιο φτηνά, χρήσιμα και ωραία αντικείμενα. Παρ'όλ'αυτά γεμίσαμε σακούλες και καρότσια με διάφορα και προχωρήσαμε για την ουρά στα ταμεία. Σας έχω μιλήσει για την ουρά; Περιμέναμε πίσω από κάποιον ηθοποιό, αλλά δεν θυμόμασταν το όνομά του. (Συγνώμη, αν είσαι εσύ και έτυχε να το διαβάζεις εδώ.) Περιμέναμε και περιμέναμε. Τελικά ήμασταν έτοιμοι να αφήσουμε τα ευρουδάκια μας και τι συμβαίνει; Το μαγαζί είχε ξεμείνει από σακούλες.

Το IKEA στην Ελλάδα λειτουργεί σαν franchise. Έχει πολλές φορές τις πιο ακριβές τιμές τις Ευρώπης. Και φαίνεται ότι δεν φτάνει μόνο μια ελληνική εταιρεία να πληρώνει για ένα γνωστό όνομα και ένα μάρκετινγκ κόνσεπτ. Χρειάζεται και λίγο σκέψη, business sense και customer service. Μετάφραση κανείς;

Posted by betabug at 23:56 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
30 October 2005

Seeing the Parade

Greece's National Holiday on 28th October

Friday morning I woke up early (well, kind of), in spite of the holiday. Then I walked through the nice and quiet streets of a sunny nonworking day in Athens. The 28th of October is a national holiday, it was the day that started the 2nd World War for Greece [1]. The day is commemorated with a parade in front of the parliament and the grave of the unknown soldier. Lots of politicians and generals are assembled to watch, but on the other side of the street there is also a crowd of normal folks. (The building on the left side of the photo is the parliament.)

The parade was completeley non-military, schoolchildren and some boyscouts, together with some bands were marching. In the crowd were the parents, schoolmates and relatives of the children, and they were applauding when they saw "their" school marching by. Most of the school groops were wearing some uniform like outfits (dark blue skirts and white blouses being the classical style for the day). But others wore traditional greek folk costumes, and these received extra applause.

Also big applause received a group from the Athens 2004 Special Olympics and the very small kids from the boy scouts. As for the bands, I learned that a glockenspiel makes a big difference in the sound of a marching band, which of course reminded me of Neal Stephens Cryptonomicon (where one of the main characters gets to play the glockenspiel, because there is no way he can play a pipe organ in a marching band). I'm no fan of marching music, but the glockenspiel sounded sweet inside all that humptata.

[1]: Actually it was the day that the Greek general and dictator Metaxas refused the ultimatum of Italian generalissimus and dictator Mussolini. Mussolini had demanded free passing of Italian troups through Greece to north africa, something that would have amounted to surrender of the country. After the "No" ("όχι") of Metaxa, hostilities started between Italy and Greece, later resulting in the involvement of Germany and the occupation of Greece. October 28th is called "επέτειος του όχι" ("epetios tou ohi", "annyversary of the no") in Greece.

Posted by betabug at 13:15 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
31 October 2005

Karagiosis - Greek Shadow Theater in the Plaka

For kids older than 3

It has gone colder here in Athens, so for Sunday afternoon we decided on some indoor activity. We went to the Plaka for a show of traditional Greek shadow theater. The genre is named after the protagonist Karagiosis. He is a poor man with three hungry children and a wife who is constantly telling him to get a job. Which he is trying to do, especially in the play we had seen this Sunday. He was trying his luck shining shoes, selling ice, pistachios, and milk, working as a photographer. Whatever he tried, it did not work out. Sounds sad? It isn't, because whatever his fortune is, he takes it with a laugh and a loose mouth. He is famous for his pointed remarks on everything. Classical quote: "We ate, we drank, and then we went to bed hungry!"

In the picture we see Karagiosis on the left side, Stavrakas buying pistachios on the right. "Shadow theater" means that the stage is made of a white textile (linen?). Figures and a bit of scenery are made out of thin materials and due to the backlighted stage show up as shadows with a few colours. The figures are held on sticks of about 40-50cm, so the figure players don't show up as shadows on the "stage".

The theater is a small basement in some of the small roads that are less filled with tourist shops in the Plaka [1]. We arrived a bit early, which was a good idea as the place got crowded. The front rows filled up with children. The theater advertises "for children over 3 years old". The back rows held us grown ups (slightly above that age). The figures look nice even if you don't understand the words, but in case you understand the words, you'll laugh your butt off. The kids giggled, shouted and chimed in talking with the figures. In some parts I laughted till my belly hurt. We had seen a play of Karagiosis some weeks ago on Hydra, but we didn't like that show. What we saw now in the Plaka was far better, no comparison.

[1]: Θέατρο σκιών Τάσου Κώνστα (Theatro Skion of Tasos Konsta), Tripodon 30, Plaka, Tel. 210 3227 507 (very close to the Metro station Akropolis, I don't think they have a web page), shows every Sunday at 11AM and 5PM.

Update: A page with more descriptions of Karagiosis and

Posted by betabug at 23:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)