Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Team Macro Man are currently on vacation and will be back sometime next week, so probably no posts before then.
But first some notes from here in the sunny Aegean seas.
Lobster pasta in basic tavernas is 90 Euros and interestingly it appears to be on most taverna menues. TMM find it hard to believe that every restaurant has a fresh lobster ready for a rich Russian to order, or perhaps there is only one lobster held centrally, ready to be airlifted into whichever restaurant hits the jackpot.
A new generic squid is available everwhere. Not the old calamari but a new 9 inch long beast that looks suspiciously Pacific in origin.
Local business is nearly all "cash only", which implies that things are so tough that no one wants to pay card handling fees, or that no one wants audit trails re tax liabilities.
The lamb gyros kebabs have all been replaced with pork or chicken (cheaper imported protein). This was a real surprise to TMM who thought that it would be available but just more expensive. Which then has us thinking that of course in a recession quality goods don't get cheaper, they stop being sold completely as cost per unit rockets, leaving only inferior goods available. We suppose we have seen this already start with airlines, where routes are cut first leaving only the budget airlines and then nothing at all. TMM wonder if the second wave of European middle class woe is when routes are shelved to normally popular holiday destinations leaving holiday house owners stuffed.
Greek ferry drivers play ten-pin bowling using parked boats as the pins and their wash as the balls. The driver of the Highspeed 6, Santorini to Ios just got a strike. The Greek islands are serviced by stunning huge superfast waterjet ferries capable of 45 knots, but there must be massive fuel savings to be had going back to slow ones. As we tourists are constantly told here - Whats the rush?
"Greek Economics" is alive and well. If your trade has halved then of course you need to double prices to stay flat.
The mobile phone network and free wifi coverage is phenominal compared to the UK.
The owner of the new yacht TMM is sitting on is an Athenian public sector employee.
Most locals we've spoken to feel the crisis is not their fault, nor their problem.
Retsina is proof of TMM's theory that there is always a good reason why "local specialities" stay just that - Local.
But God its beautiful here and miles from the market madness. We will unfortunately be back next week.
Posted from my Android phone using greek cafe wifi and a solar charger.