More Greek Stuff

We have a guy here who used to be a social worker in Britain and therefore accustomed to dealing with the socially challenged (scum). He expressed some concern about the boy up here in our village, opining that the kind who set fire to puppies as children tend to become even bigger shitbags when they become teenagers. I think it a given that most teenagers are shitbags – they have the total self-regard and lack of empathy of children combined with hormones, pre-adult bodies and, nowadays, a huge sense of entitlement. But I understood what he meant about us not wanting to set ourselves up as targets when this boy turns into the village hoody. I don’t think we need to be too worried.

It goes back somewhat to my previous post. In Britain, if a child was to do something like this, he would have done something completely outside of accepted mores. It would be an act of rebellion and a rejection of ‘society’, and regarded by most as something he should be locked up for. Here, with many adults hating dogs and having grown up in a time when if you hated a dog few people would object if you strung it up from an olive tree; here where many adults find setting fire to a puppy amusing, his biggest crime was not checking to see if the puppy had an owner before torching it.

It is also the case that this child, and his two brothers, are generally just boisterous boys. They play like boys did a number of decades ago in Britain before computer games, and TVs in the bedroom. They take the rubbish down to the bins, collect food from the veg delivery man and collect loads of wood – we often see the youngest labouring up and down the steep paths here with a heavy wheelbarrow. They work in their parent’s large vegetable plot, help with the olive harvest, are polite to us and bugger off when we tell them without any danger of one of them pulling a knife, and they get a belt round the ear when they do something wrong.

The problem here is that the casual cruelty we have seen is not regarded as something terrible. And I fear that the child concerned was just trying to be an adult – using an accepted method to drive off a stray dog and thus protect the family’s chickens.

Incidentally, going back to that dogs ‘strung up from an olive tree’. A recent case in mainland Greece actually resulted in prosecutions. Three dogs were strung up all together with the same rope, or wire, their back paws just touching the ground so as to prolong the entertainment.

Stress Diet:

Over a period of ten days I’ve lost about 8lbs. Stress, anger and lack of sleep certainly burn off the calories. Seeing an animal in pain is an appetite suppressant, and the smell of burnt fur, burnt skin, Betadine antibiotic commingled with with a hint of putrefaction certainly puts you off the meat course. Enjoy your lunch.

Some Greek Learned:

I believe Gamoto kakos apovrasma translates as ‘fucking evil scum’. I was going to go for ‘bastard’ rather than ‘scum’ but whilst my Rough Guide has that word as keratas my dictionary has it as nothos or palianthropos and lists keratas as ‘cuckold’. I tend to feel that it’s the Rough Guide that’s wrong because it contains so many mistakes. Opening it at random I get the standard one: anafero for ‘mention’ when it is ‘I mention’, again totally ignoring the verb endings I’ve mentioned before: anafero, anaferis, anaferoome etc (again the disclaimer: I’m no expert so correct me if I’m wrong).

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