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02 February 2008

Χαμός στο παζάρι βιβλίου

Έχει και βιβλία
παζάρι βιβλίου πλατεία Κλαυθμώνος

Είναι πάλι η εποχή για το παζάρι βιβλίου στην πλατεία Κλαυθμώνος. Όλοι οι εκδότες (εντάξει, δεν ξέρω αν είναι όντως όλοι) βάζουν τα βιβλία που "ξέμειναν" σε ένα μεγάλο παζάρι σε τραπέζια. Οι τιμές ξεκινάνε από 1 Ευρώ. Δεν βρήκαμε βιβλία για 1 Ευρώ όπως έλεγαν, πήραμε άλλα από 1.5€ και βρήκαμε αρκετά ενδιαφέροντα βιβλία στα 4-6€, και ένα που άξιζε τα 14€ που κόστισε.

Οι τιμές δεν ήτανε το πρόβλημά μου, πιο πολύ - βασικά, πολύ περισσότερο - με ενοχλούσε ο χαμός που γινόταν από τον πολύ κόσμο που είχε. Δεν νομίζω ότι υπολόγισαν να έρθει τόση πελατεία. Δεν μπορούσες να κουνηθείς. Κάποια στιγμή βαρέθηκα και ήθελα να φύγω. Όμως για να βγεις, περιμένεις σε μεγάλη ουρά, πολύ σπρώξιμο. Κουραστικό πράγμα.


Posted by betabug at 21:37 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
04 February 2008

Maintenance Mode

Gotta get past this cold
 
Water fountain outside Panepistimiou in central Athens

All through this weekend I was fighting a cold. Not too bad, but since it's been a while that I was sick, I'm pretty annoyed. Today I managed to work, but I'm more or less in "maintenance mode" on myself. I've got no power and I'm doing as little as possible.

So instead of any real content (there would be some stories to tell from this weekend too), here is simply a picture I took before Friday evening's visit to the books bazaar in Athens center.


Posted by betabug at 19:43 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
07 February 2008

Jumping the Law... a Little

Pedestrian traffic lights
 

This morning on the way to work a pedestrian traffic light turned to red right when I arrived at the intersection. Pedestrian traffic lights of course don't mean much in Athens, so instead of patiently waiting for it to turn green again, I stepped forward, ready to cross the street on the red light on the first opening in traffic. While I waited, a guy in a suit walked up and waited next to me. The first lull in traffic came, suit guy moved across the street... but my good upbringing showed, I waited, because after the break in traffic there was a single police car coming along.

Now I don't believe that the police here gives even an old 50 drachmas bill about a pedestrian crossing with red while they drive by, but certain childhood conditioning seemed to have shown through. As there was a second pause in traffic right after the "black and white", I assembled my courage and stepped forward to pass right after the police. Interesting enough, in the car sat just a single police man... and he was talking on his mobile phone. So much for keeping to the law myself.


Posted by betabug at 09:15 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
09 February 2008

Cheesy Aftermath

The weather was right for it too
 
The battlefield on the next day

It's actually still winter here, as evidenced by my hard-to-eradicate cold and the cold, wet and windy weather. Yesterday after staying in bed all day (helped a lot with the cold), we had friends over for Fondue. The stuff fits with the weather. Take for example our guests: Our friend Panos (libero) came in totally frozen through from riding on his new motorbike. There's nothing like burning hot liquid cheese to get him warmed up again.

There were some lessons to be learned too: 1.5 kilos of cheese is adequate for 7 people. Unless of course one of them happens to be our friend Thanassis (McKellaris), but it all came out well, since Eleni had made a lot of salad and there was definitely no shortage of bread. Speaking of bread: The hard part in making a good Fondue in Greece is not getting the cheese or the equipment, it's getting good bread that won't just fall apart when cheese diving for more than 3 seconds.

Each time I make Fondue I promise this to be the last time, because I get really anxious for the mix-and-heat process to fail. This time I really voiced my ph34r, which resulted in our friend Javier (aka graffic) to offer to make a spanish omelett instead if all goes wrong. I guess we have to take on his offer on another day!

Oh, the picture. It's what I saw this morning when I woke up and visited the living room. We left a bit of a battlefield, but with a joint effort it was cleaned up fast and easy.


Posted by betabug at 19:51 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)

Saint Etienne

pop, in concert


Gargoyle mode here, life from the concert of St. Etienne at the Gagarin in Athens. The place is full, boiling with people who seem to know each song. Unlike me.

As usual Panos has dragged me here. But I'm not complaining, music is cool, as is the crowd.


Posted by betabug at 22:56 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
10 February 2008

Weekend Metro Service Until 2AM

Going out and coming back
Metro station on Saturday night

This weekend was the first of a two month period where the Metro / Treno of Athens will be servicing users till 2AM. We came back from a concert and according to the picture were at a Metro station at around 1:15AM. There were a lot of people, it really looks like Athenians appreciate this extra service.

Traditionally the way to get back from going out is to take a taxi. Taxis in Athens are cheap, but with the cost of living rising a lot lately (and salaries of course not rising), saving a few precious Euros for a taxi ride is a good idea. The "trial period" for the extended Metro times is supposed to measure the demand of this service. In my opinion, if the passenger numbers stay as high as on this weekend, demand should be proven. Oh, and I didn't see any scenes of misbehaving or drunken passengers, it was all a quiet and civilized atmosphere.


Posted by betabug at 15:31 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
11 February 2008

Δεν έχεις head set; Καινούρια πατέντα!

Μπορεί και να θέλεις τα χέρια ελεύθερα...
No headset? Use a standard telephone and big phat earphones!

Δουλεύεις στα ορυχεία του κώδικα και σε παίρνουν τηλέφωνο; Πρέπει να μιλάς και να έχεις τα χέρια στο πληκτρολόγιο; Σήμερα ο μπεταμπαγκτσής βρήκε καινούρια πατέντα για να μιλάς ελεύθερα και χωρίς χεντ σετ... use a standard telephone and big phat earphones!

(You can provide "on hold" muzak too this way :-)


Posted by betabug at 12:18 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
12 February 2008

Veto! Ouzo @ Lesvos

mjam
 


We are with company, drinking ouzo (of the Veto brand) and having eaten appetizers at the ouzerie "Lesvos" in Exarheia.

Appart from the company, I also have something to celebrate: Eleni received her Master (Magister) with very good grades today! Wow!


Posted by betabug at 22:01 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
14 February 2008

How an Earthquake Looks Like On IRC

Life from the house of cards
 

This noon our office building shook for a long time (at least it felt long) again. Since the building is an oldish concrete and glass affair that will probably crumble like a house of cards on "the big one" (knock on wood here), all I did was to inform the gang on IRC:

12:11 < betabug> earthquake
12:11 < betabug> f* big eathquqke
12:11 < betabug> looooong f* big earthquake
12:12 < betabug> wow, that was scary

Magnitude was reported by USGS at first to be 7.3, now reduced to 6.7. Note how the time is given as "10:09:23 (UTC)". Considering we're UTC+2 (aka GMT+2 - unlike the times given on this weblog, which are GMT+1), and that there probably was a delay, there were tremors for around 2 minutes. They weren't too strong though. It felt like they shook the building in North-South direction.


Posted by betabug at 11:49 | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (0)
19 February 2008

Oh, yeah, the Snow in Greece

Guess I should be writing about this

Everybody is writing about the snow in Greece and in Athens. I probably should be doing the same, as Google sends a lot of people my way who look for information about this. Well, I'll keep it short, because I'm busy with a lot more personal stuff. None of your business, thanks for asking. Here goes:

It started snowing Saturday evening. I was out of Athens, Sunday morning there was a white blanket. You can see my friend Panos filming some of the first snow from his balcony. Later the balcony and the flowers were covered with snow. graffic and me had a bit of a fun time returning to Athens, as by that time traffic had started to break down.

Monday was even more fun. It had stopped snowing, but due to the snow on the streets and the cold the city had come to a standstill. Nobody was in my workplace, I didn't really have a means to get there, so I stayed at home and worked from there. This morning I plan to go, but I'm still waiting if indeed someone will show up. Don't want to fight my way through the frozen streets just to discover the office closed.


Posted by betabug at 08:31 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
20 February 2008

Antike Griechische Musik im Benaki

Ein Hauch von Vergangenheit
Skizze vom Konzert antiker griechischer Musik im Benaki

Gestern abend war ich mit Freunden an einem Konzert im Museum Benaki (in der Odos Pireos) an einem Konzert antiker griechischer Musik. Mir gehts im Moment nicht so toll, da muss man auch mal rausgehen und was anderes sehen. Gespielt hat das Athens State Orchestra, kostümiert und mit viel Theatralik.

Die Musik war trotzdem schön. Keine Ahnung, ob das in der Antike wirklich so getönt hat, aber das ist für mich nicht der Punkt, ich habe kein Interesse an Autentizität oder sowas. Einige der Stücke waren verträumt und versponnen, andere wohl mehr aufweckend gedacht.

Am Anfang der Aufführung sprach ein Herr von der Uni von Thessaloniki, von dem die ganze Geschichte mit den antiken Instrumenten wohl ausgegangen ist (Name hab ich leider vergessen). Danach sprach noch Dimitris Themelis, von dem ich über Eleni schon viel gehört habe. Er erzählte, wie und wo die einzelnen Stücke gefunden wurden und welche Schwierigkeiten es gab und gibt um zu versuchen die antike Musik zum Leben zu erwecken.


Posted by betabug at 09:46 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
24 February 2008

Literary meme

Too lazy to write something real

Just saw this meme at Kat's blog and saw graffic following it. As I was just reading a book and got lazily up to check on everybody's blog, it's too easy to follow this one for me. Here are the instructions:

  1. Pick up the nearest book.
  2. Open it to page 123.
  3. Find the fifth sentence/phrase.
  4. Write the next four sentences/phrases together with these instructions.
  5. Don't dig through your shelves for that very special or intellectual book.
  6. Pass it to six friends.

Continue reading "Literary meme"
Posted by betabug at 15:45 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
28 February 2008

Auf der anderen Seite / The Edge of Heaven

Going to the cinema

Yesterday evening went to watch "Auf der anderen Seite" (English title: "On The Other Side" or "The Edge of Heaven", Ελληνικά: "Η άκρη του ουρανού"). It left a deep impression on me. It's very melancholic, and in some parts it made me sad. The short story summary is that a second generation Turkish guy travels from Germany to Turkey to find the daughter of his father's dead girlfriend. Lots of people pass each other by a hairs margin, not everything works out.

Beautiful pictures from Istanbul (and Turkey in general). Characters you can love, even if they are in no way perfect humans. A story that just ends, with an open thread left to unwind in your head and soul. I left the cinema, touched.


Posted by betabug at 09:16 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Big City Catching Up

The cultural thing
 

One big advantage people usually give for living in a big city is that you have lots of choice in cultural events. It's all too true, but you have to get your ass up and actually go there. The last week or so I did. Here's a bit of catching up on it...


Continue reading "Big City Catching Up"
Posted by betabug at 10:10 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)