zonewombat: (athens)
This is the one photo I'm allowed to post on the internets, of a flyer from the anti-US rally in honor of Condi. link to Flickr

Jackhammer

Feb. 18th, 2006 08:35 pm
zonewombat: (Default)
The demos of Papagou has decided to jackhammer up the sidewalk across from our house. This is the only sidewalk for blocks, and while it's, like most Athenian sidewalks, largely unusable, it's all we've got.

The reason they're removing it is because it's "dangerous." The workers gave 2 reasons:

1) It's uneven and broken. Well, yes. But since any new sidewalk will still have trees planted in the middle of it, it too will be uneven and broken over the roots.

2) It's slippery. Again, yes. More so lately, as the park's sprinkler system saturates it every evening, and that freezes solid by morning, so that you absolutely cannot walk on the pure (combined with #1, figure a terrain where every square foot is canted a different angle, some jutting 5-6 inches in the air, all peaks and valleys...now ice that). And yeah, pretty much all the sidewalks here are slippery, as they were made out of slippery concrete.

So they are putting in non-skid concrete. Woo-hoo. We still won't be able to walk on the sidewalk, because you have to slalom around the trees, and the trees (mostly oranges, some olives) are so short you have to duck a good 5 inches while slaloming. While doing this you have to avoid the occasional car parked on the sidewalk between trees and the fence put up to prevent just this. You also have to step over tree roots. And dog turds. The sidewalk is coated with dog turds. And of course I can't take a stroller on the sidewalk, even if it were flat, as it's only 10 inches wide.

I suppose I should be glad they are trying to improve the neighborhood somehow, but I would spend the money somewhere else. Some technology beyond a broom made of sticks for the street-cleaners, maybe, or building an actual dog park. Or rounding up the strays. Cleaning up the graffiti. Putting money into a waste disposal plan so that the landfill (only one for all of Attica) isn't too full, and trash would stop piling up in the streets.

Ah well...I can't even communicate why I think stoplights should be on the opposite side of the street from where the cars stop.
zonewombat: (face)
We got a call from one of the team members of the NTSB team that's here in Athens investigating the Helios Air crash of last week. They've more or less figured out what happened, and it's a tragic story...but someone's cellphone is compromised, so we're concerned that the news will leak to the press before the Greek government has a chance to release it themselves.

So Saturday night found us at the embassy, where I played with the baby and showed him neat things like marble and cypress trees, and Robert worked the issue. We thought today would be a work day too, but it looks like the press release is imminent.

When Mallory's older and we are watching the made-for-TV movie of this crash, we can tell him that he was there when the call came in.

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