Browsing All Posts filed under »at random«

athens: trifling with perfection

January 22, 2006


03.Porch of Maidens Acropolis Athens.jpg

by seawitch

photo via milan

Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle. --Michaelangelo

Before I came to Greece, I spent 12 years in the graphic arts industry. The quote from Michaelangelo basically sums up my job description. Every single ad, brochure, billboard, and logo that was ever produced by my department was the result of the unending quest for perfection. Nothing was too small or insignificant to change. For example, a map appearing in an ad for the US had British spellings for "harbour". Even though the type was almost too small to read, we still spent hundreds of dollars redoing the film to get it right. If our deadline for publication was 9am Monday morning, we would pull all stops trying to meet that deadline--often spending nights and weekends at the office to get it there on time. One of my first jobs was at a newspaper and I remember the editor flying down the stairs from his office in a range because there were 14 spelling errors in that morning's edition of the newspaper. Even in school, every misspelled word cost me a half point in my final grade.

paris: one flu out of the cuckoo’s nest

January 16, 2006


by in paris now  With avian flu flying treacherously close to Paris, there’s little to do about it but don a fashionable face mask, go vegetarian and maintain a sense of humor. How do you know if you have the new disease? The symptoms are distinct: fever, fatigue, and an inexplicable urge to shit on […]

copenhagen: stay away from hospitals

January 6, 2006


by sabine behrmann  As long as they don’t get seriously involved with it, Danes are convinced that their national health service is the best in the whole wide world. This has made it easier for shifting governments and local political bodies to exercise massive cuts in e.g. hospital budgets over the last 20 to 30 […]

athens: road trip

January 3, 2006




While driving to the Eleftherios Venizelos Airport in August to pick up my sister arriving from New York, the thought popped into my head that I haven't heard of any fatalities on the Attiki Odos. (a 60km or so stretch of highway bypassing Athens linking directly to the airport completed over a year ago)

This may not be news in some countries, but in Greece, it's a rarity. A road which doesn't have an accident every 20 minutes? Downright abnormal. But there you have it. Just Google "attiki odos + fatalities" and you come up with 19 returns...

copenhagen: the rich don’t smoke?

January 1, 2006


by sabine behrmann  The Danish Railways have gone public with the idea to charge smokers 50 % higher prices for their seat reservations than non-smokers, on the ground that smokers’ carriages are dirtier than non-smokers. This has caused quite an outrage in the Danish public because many consider an act like this as an expression […]

athens: merry christmas!

December 26, 2005


Athens Christmas.jpg

by seawitch

One good thing about Christmas in Greece is that I can divide my Christmas shopping into two expeditions. Since Greeks traditionally exchange gifts on January 1, I get an extra week after Christmas to buy my Greek friends their gifts. My foreign friends and I still exchange our gifts on Christmas Day and fortunately, I've finished buying all their presents on time and by tomorrow, I will have more space under the tree to put all the gifts for my Greek friends. This way, my Christmas tree gets more 'use' and doesn't look so empty after Christmas Day. The Christmas season seems to last longer and I love it. Any reason to keep the glitter and lights around for another week suits me just fine.

Although Christmas ranks second to Easter in Greece, it's still quite an event. More and more Greeks every year are decorating their balconies in Athens with Christmas lights which makes driving at night dangerous since I find myself looking at the lights and not the street.

berlin: christmas cheer

December 23, 2005


by michael scott moore This is a Berlin Weihnachtsmarkt. At most German Christmas markets, you shove your way through crowds of recalcitrant and impatient people and try to look at the merchandise — sweaters and scarves, woolly hats, Lebkuchen, quaint wooden figurines — then relieve the stress of battling other holiday-minded strangers with a cup […]