Today marks the end of week two here in Thessaloniki, and it’s a full week that I’ve been in the country. It’s been a whirlwind and it won’t be slowing down any time soon. Here’s a quick recap of what I’ve done:
- Walked to the Old City for some amazing views and cool street art on Saturday
- Went to a Winery for a tour and a tasting; hit the beach afterwards. Had a bit of an existential crisis swimming in the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday
- Covered the anti-austerity rally and general strike on Wednesday
- Finally am not jet-lagged on Friday
In transit news, the bus drivers are on strike. They haven’t been paid in quite some time so are off until further notice. It’s quite a hassle–less for me, since the cabs aren’t as expensive as the Boston, but more for the people we’re reporting on. Suma and I are working on a piece focused on a refugee center and the work they’re doing, but unfortunately because the buses aren’t running, the people who normally go to the center for language classes and psychological services can’t get there. The center’s coordinator told me today that normally they have over 100 people on a daily basis; with the strike, they’re seeing about half that number.
If the MBTA was on strike; Boston would be crippled. Life goes on in Thessaloniki though. Apparently the last major strike went on for two weeks. For the sake of those who use the center, and for our story, I’m hoping the strike ends soon.
Since we’ve been taking cabs everywhere, I have learned about Greek tragedy: the parking situation. The double-parking alone is horrific, but today I saw something even worse. These cars were just parked in the middle of the intersection. Color me incredulous.