“510 euros as a basic salary… not enough for spray”
While waiting for the suburban train which would take me to the airport, I noticed a graffiti on one of the station walls .After taking a snapshot of the above picture, I stopped and started staring at it while on my mind were running the images and the moments of my week in Athens. On the wall was written: 510 euros as a basic salary … are not enough for spray
The quick return back to my country made me see more clearly and realize that all those things that are being said on the foreign tv channels are actually true.
When I was entering the train and heading for the city center I’ve noticed that my fellow passengers were constantly angry and ready to kick the others’ ass. Better not to mention that the times that I forgot to move myself so as to leave the other passengers hop off the train, they’ve made me see their fangs and started barking to me, threatening to eat me.
I’m not saying that the citizens of Milan are happier, they come and go, running into every possible direction but still they seem to have a small, painted smile on their faces, a smile that reveals too many working hours but a satisfying salary too, something that I couldn’t find on the face of the Athenians.
Waiting for the train on the platform of Omonia, was like assisting in a big angry fight. There were always people who were arguing or insulting each other, swearing the society and the entire state, or people lost in their thoughts with a gray cloud stuck over their heads. The kids with the colorful shorts talking about studying abroad and the discussions among friends had to do with salary decreases and fear of losing their jobs.
I remembered the first time on the train with my girlfriends destined for souvlaki at Monastiraki, walk at Acropolis and shopping at Berska …I remembered the old couples in the train with the black bag under the armpit with destination the meat market, the ladies with hair “just came out of the hairdresser’s” and full shopping bags, kids making a fuss running from one wagon to the other and the rest of the passengers reading the newspaper with satisfaction (BFP * period).
Those years seem to have gone. No more happy people, proud of their country and with a basic salary of more than 510 €.No more habits like going for shopping to Ermou street and feeling as they were at the Greek via Montenapoleone. Now Ermou is depressed and has become grayer, like the people of Athens … Even the pigeons don’t like it anymore, they don’t even poop the street.
I also remembered the first day when the metro opened in Athens and the world stream that wanted to live this unique experience. Children with bulging eyes wondering how it is possible for a train to run so fast and the eldest talking on the mobile with the family, saying: “Gianni you miss all the fun, 6 minutes from the mainland and you are at Syntagma square, we’re experiencing great moments!” – It was a period of the Athenians lives which the distances were being calculated by minutes not kms ,due to the time boards that calculated all the distances between the metro stops.
Too many things have changed since then, the ticket does not cost more 0.25 cents but 1.40€. The people take the train only because the gasoline is being increased and the salaries decreased. In the wagons are no longer just gypsies or drug addict beggars, but the middle-class Greeks who lost their jobs and are facing the poverty…
Much has changed since then, but I am optimistic that we can do better, we can fight this time too … half of us living abroad thinking of the home-country and hoping to come back with money, and the other half trying their best, having faith and working for 300 euros a month with the hope that everything will be again all right.
How do I know it? Because according to a Greek saying…
The good things will turn back and the poor guy will also f…
*Before Free Press