Many people have asked us what we thought of the Olympic Games, just in case you only just now crawl out from under some rock, this year to be held in Athens (some of them games also take place in Thessaloniki, Patras and our own Iraklio, none in Olympos though, funny enough). Most of these questioners want to hear about how the Greeks are going to handle the immense delays in the works needed to be completed in a inhumanely short amount of time. Hey, even Jacques Rogge wants to know that! Though he did not contact us with this question, to be honest. But I know what to tell him, in case he does, from one Belgian to the other. So far, we have not been worried. Whether these works are finished or not, the Greeks will guarantee you all a good time. When you eat in good company, drink, converse and dance with the Greeks, what else would you desire? If you are in that blissful state of exaltation, realizing that you’re part of something the Olympic gods themselves instituted some 2500 years ago, at the exact same spot where you’re trying to keep your swaying body in balance, will you pay attention to a roof that is not completely finished? Even if that roof was designed by a most famous Spanish architect? No, of course not, you will be a god yourself for a short while, and you’re not going to let that feeling be spoilt by irrelevant nitpicking. You will enjoy Greece for what it has to offer that you lack, not for what it is lacking. You will laugh and cry with the Greeks because they let you. You will be grateful that they honour you with their company, as they are grateful that you honour them with your company. In short you will have the most wondrous time that you will remember for a long, long while.
So, everybody, quit nagging and whining, and enjoy!
Something really, really, really stupid has recently happened that might spoil it all. You see, in Ancient Greece, the time of the games was a time of peace. The city-states lowered their walls, the constant fighting was halted for a short while. We modern descendants do it differently. We call in the NATO! Whoever had that insane idea has never heard of the effect a red handkerchief has on a bull. Think about it, if you are a pretty insignificant player in international politics, a low-profile peace-loving nation, maybe not the salt of the earth, but friendly and harmless, what better way to attract the attention of every self-respecting terrorist in the world than to post an army of Americans and Brits — throw in a few Spanish to make it complete — to secure the place! Before you try to tell me that NATO is not a bunch of Americans and Brits: yeah-yeah, whatever, keep dreaming.
Fact is that now every Greek starts feeling insecure. Before this happened, deep down they were pretty certain that no terrorist would touch the Games, based on the simple belief that they, the Greeks, did not provoke anybody. If you are the light-footed pretty girl dressed in white, dancing through the meadow, you don’t have to fear the bull grazing there. It’s only when your short-sighted thick-headed simpleton of a would-be lover comes “rescuing” you, charging from afar in his loud clothes with blood-red shirt, that you’d better start running for your life.
On Friday, August 13th I will be temporarily moving to the third cave in the 7th gorge of the White Mountains (coming from the east), where I will not be reachable except by smoke signals. See you again in civilization (or what’s left of it) on Monday, 30th of August.