Sunday, August 05, 2007

Summer stock

July 1st seems to mark the “official” start of the summer season in Greece. From that point on, the number of city dwellers appears to rapidly diminish each weekend, to the point of making a person wonder if maybe they should get the hell out of the city too, just in case it is ground zero for some kind of alien attack or something. People here don’t take paltry week-long vacations – they go away (usually to the islands, Halkidiki, or other beach-type destinations in Greece) for two weeks to two months at a time, with the general average hovering around a month of non-city-living, beachcombing fun. Usually, by the time August comes around, the city is completely dead, at least until the Assumption holiday on August 15th. I love being in Thessaloniki during these ghost town summer days – it seems so vast, so quiet, so peaceful, and I always look forward to the stark desolation of August.

Yet, this year, people did not leave. All last week the city was a virtual swarm of normal, everyday life. We had to push our way through the crowds who were shopping and running around as if it was a week before Christmas. What the hell, people? I count on these few weeks of blessed silence in the city to preserve my sanity. And we all know what happens to sanity if it is not preserved. So for the love of all that is good and holy, please, please, go to your summer homes. Enjoy the bright sun and the beaches. I’ll keep Thessaloniki safe and nice until you get back, I promise. Just go! We only get one summer a year, and we each only get an average of 75 summers in our lives. Don’t waste this one in the city!

4 comments:

bryan-in-greece said...

It looks like the Greeks can't afford those long summer holidays any more, Mel, probably the result of price hikes in recent years...

toomanytribbles said...

what bryan said.

melusina said...

Yea, I don't know about that, though, because the city was empty for all of July until last week! Maybe they just wanted to come back to the city for the bad weather.

Joanne said...

hmmm, interesting.
I wonder why that is...for as long as I can recall, Greeks were always keen on going away in August for vacation.
This is the same reason that I decided to come to Greece for vacation in September when all the vacationing hoopla of August has died down on the Greek islands.
I hope that the Greeks are not planning to go on vacation in September...that would royally piss me off! Back off...Milos is mine from September 3rd to 9th!