Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Day 17 - More is More

The Greek Psyche is strongly concerned with status and shame.

Status is gained by producing large broods of children who become doctors, lawyers and mothers. Shame comes from producing small numbers of children who only become bloggers and quizmasters.

Status comes from owning bulky and expensive objects, preferably made out of mahogany and/or gold. Shame comes from being seen with ANYTHING second-hand.

In fact, there are no second-hand shops on the island and all the time a fiery rubbish dump on the mountain to the East of the town burns day and night, forever fuelled by a procession of perfectly serviceable objects that no one would ever be seen dead with for they bear the unholy taint of being pre-owned.

Status also comes, if you’re in business, from having a big desk. When it comes to desks, the Greek mentality of more is more applies.

A Greek businessman can handle having few customers, receding hair and a tiny little microscopic moped between his legs but without a desk the size of Saturn, he will die.

The minimum size for a Greek businessman’s desk is 2 metres by 1 metre depth. It must support filing trays and an ashtray. There must be a name plate in brass, preferably gold. It must be made from rare hardwoods from unsustainable forests.

It’s not even as if you need to be in a profession that uses a desk. There is a fishmonger’s shop over in Vathi (pictured) with a desk big enough to plan D-Day. All it is used for is to add up his eight daily sales of fish. In seventeen years, when he has sold enough fish to buy a new desk, this one will be burnt at the dump. The circle of life.

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