Thursday, October 25, 2007

Day 19 - Parallel Universes

Okay – while we’re here in Kalymnos, we are trying to continue what we were doing in Glasgow which is trying to come up with fantastic business ideas – so we’re still working.

With the decoration of the flat still unfinished, we decide to move the office up to the top of the small mountain overlooking the flat. This means that, just as in Glasgow, we have a twenty minute walk to work. Let’s compare and contrast:

Glasgow: Our flat in the Garnethill area of the city centre is a 20 minute walk through busy streets to our office off George Square, which is also in the city centre.
Kalymnos: Our flat in the Christoy area of the city centre is a 20 minute walk: 10 minutes through the streets of Pothia until the tar-sealed road turns into a dirt track, the city abruptly ends, and a further ten minutes up a zigzag path takes us to a flat bit of mountainside above Profitis Church.

Glasgow: After dodging schoolies and art students in Garnethill, we are entertained by rock buskers and dodge the clipboard-toting trustafarians working for charity. We also need to negotiate our fair share of junkies, cops, and women with umbrellas and Primark bags.
Kalymnos: Sporadic elderly men in cardigans bask on chairs outside their front doors, motionless except for puffing on a fag. Older women wear black smocks to hang washing while younger housewives in pink velour leisure suits scrub the section of street outside their front doors. Further up the hill, there is a goat.

Glasgow: Sainsbury, Costa Coffee, Primark, Marks & Spencer, HMV, McDonalds, Orange, Poundland, Sainsbury again…
Kalymnos: Yianni’s Souvlaki place, a sponge workshop with no name, a bakers, some clothes with price tags hanging over the railings of someone’s house (I guess you have to knock), a hairdresser which we know belongs to the sister of the husband of Nicole’s sister. A food shop measuring approx 12’ x 12’ with a sign saying “supermarket” and a guy in a pick-up truck chanting his wares through a megaphone: lettuce, spinach, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers…

Glasgow: We hold our noses to cross Hope St and Renfield St, two of Europe’s most polluted streets.
Kalymnos: On the busier streets the regular danger comes from testosterone-saturated youths tearing up three-foot wide lanes on 500cc motorbikes. But once you reach the house with the rusted old chicken coop full of broken old hens and a shabby rooster, there is no more traffic. The road stops. We are in the countryside.

Glasgow: Flat front door (2 each) Stair doors (2 each), car, bike, outer office doors (1 each) inner office doors (1 each) actual office room (1 each), mailbox, cupboard, and filing cabinets (4) – TOTAL 20 keys between us.
Kalymnos: We have one key for the flat between us and we generally leave it in the unlocked front door.

Glasgow: Our office was 300 square feet and overlooked a Japanese-style Zen Garden. Nice enough but you could only see this from one of the workstations - which Nicole naturally nabbed - and the intended tranquillity of the garden was rather ruined by the faulty extractor fan which made a high-pitched squealing noise for the last four months we were there. Free tea and coffee.
Kalymnos: Some stony acres on a hill top with an old wall which looks like it may be used by goatherds. Views in all directions – you can see over to the sea on the West side of the island and as far South as Nisiros. No free tea and coffee.

At the end of the day, however, work is work and once we get over ourselves, we settle down to some hard brainstorming slog.

But will the 360-views and clement weather prove to be any more inspirational than the noisy Zen Garden and the dodgy Scottish climate? Stay tuned to find out.

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