AKA: why are there suddenly refugees everywhere, and when are they going to go away? (Hint: never)
This is a summary of the notes I took on the first day of the effect.org “Hacking the Refugee Crisis” expedition in Athens. More on that in a bit, but first…
Crisis, What Crisis?
Today, globally, there are 65 million displaced people. More than ever before.
Refugees have always existed. In the past, a country would go to war; people would be displaced; they’d spend a year or two as refugees; and eventually return home.
Today though, the problem is chronic. Global warming and permanent instability means displaced people no longer have homes to return to. Folks are born and grow up as refugees.
Continue reading What is the “Refugee Crisis”? And why should you care?
Grrr. I’m angry with Greece. Silly really, and it’s my own stupid fault no doubt for going on a cheap bucket-shop holiday, but I am, so there it is.
Let’s be more specific. Last night we did the obligatory “Greek Night”. The dancing & entertainment were great. Nothing to begrudge there. It’s just… the food. This was supposed to be a demonstration to us foreigners of all that’s best about Greece. Of course it’s really just a cynical way of making a bit of extra cash, but I don’t mind cynical ways of making a bit of extra cash if they’re done properly. The Tatziki was great (although it’s a shame that, as everywhere, they serve it with heavy ageing white sliced bread, instead of the beautiful freshly-baked rolls we were given in Kefalonia). I don’t even begrudge the main course (chicken with rice and chips – very traditional – although I had pizza as a veggie option) or the dessert (slices of apple on cocktail sticks – I always thought that was traditional Somerset fayre, though no doubt they have the same in Corfu. Shame that none of the restaurants here knows how to make a fruit salad though – again in Kefalonia we got beautiful ones served up with greek yoghurt and honey). No, the problem was the “Greek Salad”. OK, the salad itself wasn’t bad – not too easy to go wrong (although it would have been more thoughtful if they’d bunged a few olives in with the lettuce, tomato, cucumber and feta). The problem is the FUCKING OIL. The national product of Greece is OLIVE OIL, RIGHT? So howcome they have such disgusting gloop in all the restaurants? Every restaurant has two bottles on the table; one is an indistinct sort of watery vinager, the other is a bottle of what I can only describe as chip oil. I first discovered this when, eschewing the margarine-dressed-as-butter that they hand out with the stale bread, I poured some oil to dip my slice in. It tasted like I had just licked the bottom of a deep-fat fryer which hadn’t been cleaned for months. And they expect us to pour this stuff on our salad? YEUUUCH! If this is really what the Greeks eat at home then I can only say they have no taste. Why don’t they make better use of all those olives growing all around them?