After two weeks touring in the Peloponnese it is clear that that they have many similar traits to the Italian Pugliese which I guess is not surprising given that the Greeks colonised Puglia in B.C. something or another and called it Magna Grecia.
I have been listing the similarities in my mind and now I am restored to the full internet drug back in an hotel after the week in a delightful rented house I can get them onto paper so to speak. So the list :
1) Dangly Hand Syndrome
Greeks like Pugliese on warm to hot days believe that when driving it is essential for the driver of the vehicle to extend his arm out of the window and “feel” the air flowing over it. This, of course, means that the remaining arm has to handle the gear changes, the steering of the vehicle, the drinking of the take away coffee, the hair buffing, the fiddling in the glove compartment, the soothing of unruly children in the front and rear, the blowing of the nose and most important of all the holding almost permanently of the mobile phone. It is particularly important to extend fully the arm when approaching a street to the left of the car ( they both drive on the right side of the road) to ensure maximum air rush over the arm. Then it is essential to place ones spare hand on the horn as the car wanting to come out assumes you are turning left and comes out in front of you. Such fun.
2) Toss it Out of the Window Syndrome
There is no doubt the the Pugliese got this straight from the Greeks. The need to throw rubbish from the car the moment it is used. The streets of the Peloponnese are literally littered with plastic cups, plastic bags, food wrappings the lot
I have been walking for an hour each morning and it can be quite difficult to dodge the stuff that is coming out of car windows as the Greeks speed by. Beer bottles, cigarette packets, used tissues all end up piled up along the roads just like in Puglia. Makes me feel quite at home
3) Busy Going Nowhere Syndrome
The Peloponnese youth like Puglia youth have this strange somewhat sad obsession with driving around aimlessly. They aren’t going anywhere they are just driving because, seemingly, they have nothing better to do. So they drive into town, drive around the town be it Martina Franca in Puglia or Kalamata here and then they drive out again. They are mainly male and aged between 20 and 40. They clearly live at home and in the main are unemployed which is obviously a tragedy but a necessity according to Frau Merkel as she attempts to teach Southern Europeans how to be better Germans. Quite a few of the parents of Peloponnese youth however cannot afford to give their male offspring cars and instead give them what I would call dirt bikes. The youth immediately take the silencer off the exhaust system to give it a decent sound and practice revving whilst racing the motor bike up and down the town roads. One such youth was blasting past our hotel room a week or so ago . We eventually went out to eat and were in a pleasant taverna tucking in to yet another lamb chop ( or lamp special as the menu illuminatingly described it). The said dirt track racer sped along the road that went by the front of the taverna. We and the other guests could hear him a-coming from a long way off. Two guys from the table opposite jumped to their feet and were on the pavement as he roared by and one took out a phone and spoke into it before returning to his meal. I had laughingly put my fingers in my ears as the biker went past and then made a shooting sign with my hand as the guy with the phone went back and he had nodded at me. Twenty minutes later a police car pulled up and the policeman shouted at the guy with the phone in Greek. He in turn said something to his wife and pointed at me. She in halting English said. They got him, speeding and dangerous driving. Two hundred and fifty euro on the spot fine. He cannot pay and is in jail for a week at least. I ordered another half litre of red wine .
Well I must get back to the internet, I’ve got 8 days of the Daily Mail to read. Anyone know what happened to those revolting Scots ? How did Wolves do ? Oh there is so much to catch up on and more lamb chops to be eaten as well.