1 July 2015: Down the Rabbit-HolePosted: July 1, 2015
Until this past weekend, plans for my July 1st post were well in hand. They involved a wonderful story from Curtis Runnels about a young American student who had met Heinrich Schliemann at Assos (a site near Troy) in 1881. My only remaining task was to look for images to enhance the text.
Things began to unravel on Friday when I flew to Lemnos to give a paper at an international conference addressing WW I and the Battle of Gallipoli. On Saturday morning I awoke to learn that the Greek government had left the negotiating table in Brussels and had called for a referendum on the negotiations. An announcement Sunday night reported that Greek banks would remain closed for an indefinite time and account holders would only be allowed to withdraw €60 per day (now €50 because the banks have run out of €20 bills). Yesterday, I tried to renew an online subscription for a service in the US but this failed because Greek credit cards are no longer accepted outside Greece. I later passed by several neighborhood gas stations before finding one with gas. I could go on and on about the other problems my family has encountered since Monday, but I am afraid that these are nothing compared to what will follow the referendum on Sunday.
A strange fear has taken hold of me and it is a sensation that I have felt only twice before. The first time was July 1974 when Turkey invaded Cyprus, and Greece almost went to war with Turkey. I was 11 years old and for a week we were covering the windows of our house with dark paper every night in anticipation of air raids. The second time was January 1996 during the Imia crisis when Greece again almost declared war on Turkey.
Last night instead of working on the layout for Curtis Runnels’s story, I joined the protest on Constitution Square (Πλατεία Συντάγματος). A big crowd was gathered there and despite the rain we stayed for hours, hoping that the members of Parliament would see us and come to their senses.
After two years (this blog started in July 2013) of posting a story every month, one always inspired by the past, I no longer felt inspired to do the same today.
“I’m afraid I can’t explain myself, sir. Because I am not myself, you see?” (Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)