Sunday, July 10, 2011


What would life be like without those little escape levers? Scrabble for weekdays, steamy Saturday morning cappuccinos to melt the crispy winter dullness, summer pulp fiction while lazing on a bamboo chez lounge on a leafy balcony... My husband is opposed to these formidable breathers from the daily monotony and misery of this crumbling country with a glorious past but uncertain future.

He says that I am wasting time and money on luxuries that need to be slashed in lieu of more important needs. But what is more significant that the ultimate need to feel human, to feel alive, to feel almost "happy"?

And the threat that I may lose my oxygen - the mere thought of that - is enought to send me into a spending frenzy. No, not for 'things', but for 'moments'.

"Cut!" he commands.

So I go scuba diving, take a batik class and head off with the kids to the zoo.

"Stop!" he harrumphs. So I pack the kids on weekend retreats and hop to nearby islands, as far away as I can get from his overbearing whining. But as I stare across the Aegean and breathe in the salty sea air of freedom I hear the faint echo of his sentiments weighing me down. Pulling me into the murkiness from which I am trying to escape. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


"fill us in if you can", she said...

And when someone as fantabulous as Phoenix does you the honour of taking an interest in what you've been up to, how can you ignore her request? After all, it's hard to refuse someone with a face like this (and a beautiful soul to match):

So here it is in a nutshell, for you, Phoenix and anyone else who is interested...


Greece is going through tough times at the moment. Overnight, workers rights have been dismantled, unemployment is skyrocketing, schools are shutting, cutbacks, cutbacks, cutbacks...the future looks grim (more about that in my next post).


You may remember that things were getting tight at my work with cameras being brought in to spy on us and colleagues being sacked. Delays in salary payments and unpaid overtime were just the tip of the ice berg with a whole department being called in to work on Saturday evenings illegally without extra pay.

The bosses started fighting it out between themselves with legal proceedings and loads of drama. You could literally carve the bad climate that was flung in our faces as a reason for more cutbacks and belt-tightening. To add insult to injury, one of the bosses built a mansion amidst this turbulence. But while bosses will be bosses, what I could not understand was the attitude of fellow employees who were sucking up to the management and ratting out rather than spitting. 

Every night, I would go home and announce that tomorrow would be my last day. And my husband would advise me to rethink as the general sentiment in my country at the moment is: "You are lucky to have a job."

So I would go back all sour-faced and constantly pissed off. People would say "Good morning" and, as if by reflex, I would say "No!" "No!" was just the first word that popped to mind. "No!" "No!" "No!"

Until, one day, I received a phone call from my boss who sacked me. Nicely. "Due to financial cutbacks we cannot afford you anymore." He evidently wasn't gutsy or decent enough to tell me to my face.

Lucky for me, the person dismissed before me had taken the company to court which meant that I got full compensation plus delayed backpayments which is more than I can say for most of Greece's unemployed. Three cheers for me.

So I thought I'd write that book, make myself more computer savvy, maybe look into doing a course, hopefully do some volunteer work and enjoy summer. But just several days following my dismissal a job fell onto my lap from out of nowhere at a time when jobs are pretty scarce in this country.


Inhouse editor for a publishing company that has offices in London and around the Mediterranean. It's pretty cool cause I get to read books all day and go on a different tangent professionally. Refreshing. But its still the honeymoon period.


Surprise! Surprise! I've been doing a lot of that. But not in a church way. I'm not even sure it can be called praying. Maybe its just meditation. I have been making a point of going to beautiful, spiritual places, closing my eyes and feeling grateful to be a person who does not sell out on her personal beliefs and just begging for strength and the power to continue hanging in there. I keep conjuring images of Vivi and Alexandra and calling forth some deep connection. It fills me with warmth to imagine them beside me, like it used to be when they were alive. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I feel childish, sometimes I think I'm going crazy... but maybe I'm onto something.


We are all well. Having a first grader and a sixth grader means I have my hands full. I see them as the two ends of the primary school bridge. Just a few more days to go before school holidays. And everything is in a state of flux and heat.


Yes, it's slowly happening. Not in a linear way... but in circles that keep opening and shutting. Perhaps life is just a circle. A great big bubble that keeps bursting and then blowing up again. As one part comes full circle a new one begins.

So here's a little poem I dedicate to you (again), Phoenix, and to everyone else who happens to read this, especially to my rogue anthropologist friend Michael (Archive Fire) who seems to have toned it down a bit since the Fukishima explosion. Perhaps we cannot stop the tide, but that doesn't mean we should tolerate life's daily injustices...

Chapter 1.
I walk down a street and there's a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. It takes forever to get out. It's my fault.
Chapter 2.
I walk down the same street. I fall in the hole again. It still takes a long time to get out. It's not my fault.
Chapter 3.
I walk down the same street. I fall in the hole again. It's becoming a habit. It is my fault. I get out immediately.
Chapter 4.
I walk down the same street and see the deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
Chapter 5.
I walk down a different street.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


How are you?
Is anybody out there still?
Do you remember me?
Seems like yesterday that I was addicted to blogging, worrying about all sorts of people I'd never met and enjoying the sheer futility of it all!
So much has changed since then.
For all of us, I guess.
Time is strange.
Nothing seems to happen and yet nothing stays the same as we swing like pendulums between chaos and order without realising that these are two sides of the same coin.
Anyway, what I really wanted to say is "Hi!"
Maybe this means I'm back, maybe not.
Who knows?
So, "Hi"... Hope you are well!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


365 days...

134 posts...



1 blog...



Sunday, December 12, 2010


Work is interfering with my blogging.

I would like to write about so many things. Most of them work-related but feel that my views may get me in trouble... so I'm keeping them to myself until I find a clever way to weave them in between the lines.

Plus I don't have time. Seriously. All this unpaid overtime means I don't have time to go to the toilet let alone blog...

But I still love you all!

And need you more than ever!


The only good thing about not having any free time whatsoever is that I don't have free time to think...THINKING always did get me into trouble.

But I'm still here... just a dormant volcano hiding behind a dormant blog.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010



Is anybody out there still?

It's been a while...

This blog was begun merely for the joy of expression and it did give me pleasure weaving my useless gibberish for a while. Lately, though, there has been little joy. Not even scrabble gives me much satisfaction.

It's hard to find joy when you can literally taste the bitterness of an economic recession. Corporations are shutting down and the big black hole of joblessness is sucking in more and more people.

The pain hit hard last week when the chilly breath of unemployment whispered "You're sacked!" to my most beloved colleague. On his first day back from holiday leave he was stabbed with just one word - "Cutbacks!" He was given seven days to pack before becoming a part of the 15 percent unemployment statistic.

What saddened me the most was my own reaction...or lack of! Ten years ago, a feisty me would have fought for a fellow colleague's livelihood. The 42-year-old mother of two did not. I swallowed the pill and got dumped his work (which translates to him being sacked and me doing more work than what I'm getting paid for). "I'm sorry!" I kept apologising to him. "I'm so sorry!"

I did try to stick up for him. But just with words. As if words mean anything when not backed by solid action.

I did write a note to the spy...THIS SPY LOOMING OVER THE DOORWAY TO MY DESK...CLICK HERE IF YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE CAMERA.... I scribbled something cliche about worker exploitation and held it into the camera's face for a moment or two...

"Hello Big Brother!" I said as I eyed the lens. "Welcome." And I felt the noose of the new order tighten around my soul.

As for my other colleagues. They were even more silent than I. That's it about the economic crisis. People become dehumanised as they worry about the consequences of losing their little jobs, getting littler by the moment... until they become as little as our little lives. And rather than react to the constant degradation, unpaid overtime, we all clam up. Like robots.

Remember when I used to wonder if I was an alien.... CLICK HERE.... Those concerns seem so extravagant now... These days, I wonder if perhaps I have stopped being a living being altogether and have entered a robotic stupor. Worst still, I feel as though I am surrounded by robots... So much so that sometimes I want to kick them just to test if they are alive.

I want to scream - "Hey folks! Wake up! Stop being so bloody professional and take risks! Make mistakes! Stick up for each other! Love! Laugh! And above all be human!"

Thanks for listening anyone who's out there... Even if that "anyone" is none other than my new best "friend", BIG BROTHER! 

Friday, November 19, 2010


Good old Aunt K passed away at the age of 88. A long life one would say, but I guess not long enough for those who loved her. I wonder if it was long enough for her or if she would have thought it sweet to have some more - perhaps just a glimpse at being 89 may have pleased her.

Can it be so bad to die at 88? In Asian cultures, 88 symbolises fortune and prosperity (that's why the Beijing Olympics opened on 8/8/08). But all those 8s were not so fortuitous for the late Aunt K. Or were they? Was death a precious release? Truth is, there was too much dignity and deportment shown by her progeny during the funeral. All four of her seeds wept in silence, solemnly and to themselves as people of good upbringing so often do. I am often suspicious yet somehow strangely comforted when upbringing triumphs over despair. There is strange consolation when order and dignity are chosen over chaos.

But what can I know of the funeral party's real feelings? After all, I had only seen Aunt K several times in my life, and those times were so long ago. She was such a quiet woman who had not left much of an imprint on my memory. Her four children, however, had an abundance of joy in their youth that made me feel somewhat lacking as an only child. There was much warmth in their large living room. Well, at least it seemed large then when I was only 10.

Surely they had taken their togetherness for granted for the three sons had scattered across the globe and the daughter felt weary from having to deal with her mother's health problems alone.

The funeral reunion brought them together. The last time had been at a wedding or some baptism, I think. Now they were grey-haired, no longer boisterous or looking like they had once had fun. So dignified and grave. Reserved.

Once again, I remembered my own age and cringed at life's inevitable cycle. Oh, the irony that this boring woman lived so long, when Alexander and Vivi had died so young even though they were so memorable...but, we shouldn't think such things, especially at funerals...

Unable to handle this thought and incapable of handling the feeling that I was voyeur to other people's pain I looked away. And then I left, leaving them to deal with their loss. After this blog entry I may even forget about it... After all, I knew Aunt K so little and was never quite drawn to know more.