Taxi service

Taxi service
TAXI SERVICE, for all your holiday needs while you are travelling in Hania. If you're coming to Hania and you need a taxi, maybe we can help you out. For quotes and prompt service, drop me a line at: mverivaki hotmail com

Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Isihaki house (Μετόχι Ησυχάκη)

Isihaki was left in front of his family home, as he had asked for in his wish if he were to be the lucky winner of the Back to the Future Earth Super-Draw. He felt very lucky indeed to be the winner of the lottery that God organised once a century for all the departed souls. It was open to all residents of heaven and hell who had been there for at least a century, but in the last millenium, a heller would win every century without fail, which made the heaveners think that the lottery was rigged, or God was over-sympathising with the hellers, showing too much compassion for the plight of those who had gone to hell, and wanted to alleviate their burden by giving them hope that they might one day win a mini-break away from their misery. (God never let the heaverners and hellers mix; he refused to judge anyone in death, but preferred to keep things separate lest reincarnation was invented, and people began to take it for granted that death was purely that: it was pretty much the same for everyone once they left Earth.)

When Isihaki heard his name called as the winner, at first he thought that God had made a mistake, since he was living in heaven and he had only been dead for just over a century (he felt too young to be so lucky so quickly), so he put off answering the call for 13 years, until he got the summons that if he did not come forward, the prize would have to be re-drawn. (God was horrified at the thought of this, as He had secretly been hoping for a miracle to happen. that a heavener would win. The only reason why hellers had been winning so often in the last millemium was that there were simply many more of them,so it was only natural that they had better chances of winning. The previous millenium yielded a better run - the numbers of residents in heaven and hell were more equal.)

The winner of the lottery was allowed to return to Earth (if s/he wished; winners had the opportunity to decline the prize, which was non-transferable; since only hellers had been winning for so long, it was never refused). The only conditions were that they had to return to the place where they were born, regardless of where they grew up, and they would be in invisible mode, so as not to disturb the present dwellers on Earth. The prize had a short duration, just enough time to take in the changes of the place. The winner could go anywhere, on foot, or by catching the local transport, but would remain unaffected by any possible dangers that they may encounter while there, eg high winds, earthquakes, tsumanis, accidents, etc - they were already dead and could not die twice - and their eyes and ears would be in good working order (no matter whether they were deaf or blind on their departure from Earth), in order to maximise the full experience. At the end of the half hour, they were once again automatically transported to their original placement (ie heaven or hell). 
The house of Isihaki is a network of partially connected buildings on the same site in the village of Alikianos, under a preservation order due to its extraordinary architectural features which show the historical development of the construction of buildings in the area. The Isihaki house was used in 1897 as a military base by Timoleon Vasos in the Greek revolution against the Ottomans, which yielded autonomy to the island of Crete. There is not much web information about the house, but it is estimated to be about 150 years old. It contains elements that show the development of Cretan architecture as a continuation from Venetian times. Despite its dilapidated state (this web page attributes this to WW2 bombing), it still exhibits features of a house belonging to Cretan nobility.  

Isihaki found himself feeling warm under a sun-filled sky, standing in front of an edifice whose outline was distinctly recognisable. He couldn't work out the time, but it felt like morning, judging form the shadows cast by the sun. He could hear voices coming from one side of the village, but there were very few people about. The season was more discernible - it must be autumn, judging by the falling leaves from the trees. The house that his father had had built for their family had suffered from the ravages of time, as was to be expected, but it was still standing. It was a desolate sight to see it so unkempt, but he had expected this. Peering through the door, he found that the staircase leading to the upper levels had been partly destroyed; it was clearly not being inhabited now.

The stairs that led to the entrance were only slightly visible, camouflaged by the overall decay, but still quite sturdy and usable, and the house did not look as though it was ready to fall down. Seeing it empty initially made him feel overwhelmed with sadness, but he put things in perspective: he was here for only a short time, he had to use his time wisely, and he was being given the chance to enter the house undisturbed. With trepidation, he moved towards the steps in front of the house. Before entering, he glanced quickly behind it at the other buildings that had sprouted around it. None looked like anything he remembered during his time on Earth. What surprised him was how close they were to his family home; there were no others there at the time he was alive, but now, the whole place seemed to be full of square structures, all made of materials that were unknown to him. "We must have many descendants," he thought.
He entered the house and turned left towards what he recalled as the the part of the house that led to the courtyard. The tiles on the floor brought back memories of the people who had trod on these floors: his parents, brothers and sisters, his father's business partners, priests, military officers, Turkish pashas, friends, villagers and servants. Images of people flashed into his mind; in heaven, he did not see them or even think about them, but now that he was on Earth, he began to have what felt like earthly feelings, which he had not felt since his departure from Earth. It now occurred to him that he had been released from these feelings once he had left the Earth and they never troubled him. Was this prize God's way to prove to the soul that the afterlife was indeed the best one?
He could feel the pressure of time running away from him. Again, that was another forgotten concept in heaven; there was time for everything, and there was no such thing as stress. Time was a fluid concept for him; even though he didn't know how much time he had left, he knew that any moment, he would be back in heaven. He continued into the stables and storage areas, but they did not seem to grab his attention so much. They were also lying in ruins, and there was little for him to see there, apart from the crumbling remains. He walked through the arch and came back out to the main entrance of the house, where he saw the magnificent valley of Alikianos in front of him. There was a large building standing across from the family home, and what seemed like a tidy flower garden. Among the flowers there was a monument of some sort. He was relieved to see that the inscription was written in Greek:
"... and the brave free fighters of our village who fought the Germans in the battle of Crete in '41..." Isihaki was now confused: Why had the Germans come so close to the south? How did they get here? Why did the Greeks fight them? Were they still fighting them now? And more importantly, what happened to the Turks? His first thought was that there was still a war going on. Just as he had put the thought in his mind, a group of young people passed by the memorial site, the first people he had seen walking by while he was there. He watched them file past - they all looked young, they appeared reasonably dressed, their clothes were not dusty, they looked well-fed, and they appeared carefree, laughing together, with no signs of pressure on them. More importantly, they all wore shoes, which were a luxury in his days. He could not ask them anything, but this sight imbued him with peace. And then he heard their teacher speaking in Greek: "Come along now παιδιά, don't dawdle!" The children were at school, and they spoke Greek. The village could not possibly be at war; this feeling lightened his soul.

A metallic wheeled object passed in front of the road. The noise frightened Isihaki at first, but it whizzed by so fast that he did not have time to take in the novelty. Time was running out. He decided to concentrate on what he wanted to remember, not on what he had obviously missed out on. He turned to look at the house again. Through the broken windows, he could see trees and houses behind the house. It seemed quieter there, so he walked around the outside of the house and found a well-maintained wide lane. A woman was walking along it, trailed by a young child. "Τίνος είναι, άραγε;" he wondered, but he knew that the answer to this question would remain a secret to him.
He took in some familiar sights of the old which were sitting in harmonious combination with the new. He recognised the old stone walls that bordered the new structures. How grand they were, with their sleek smooth finish and perfect lines! And the foliage never looked more lush. The area was full of trees. The houses were surrounded by rich dark green foliage. The village lay very close to the path of the mighty Keritis river, which Isihaki presumed was continuing to provide the village with water, a sure sign of prosperity.
He saw that God had been good to his future villagers, a feeling which filled his heart with peace of mind and exuberance. He consoled himself with the thought that his efforts towards freedom in the last minutes of his life had not gone to waste. The world of his village was indeed a better place than in the past. And with this on his mind, his felt his soul rising above the ground, as it had done on the day he had lost his life in battle, the atmosphere clouding over and a lightness in his heart removing all signs of any distress that he might have felt in those few minutes that he had been granted to spend back on Earth. 

Bonus photo: the Isihaki house also had an indoor toilet. 

All photos taken on 25 October, 2013. More photos and links can be found in this photo set.

©All Rights Reserved/Organically cooked. No part of this blog may be reproduced and/or copied by any means without prior consent from Maria Verivaki. 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

By a long drop (Η κάτω βόλτα)

A friend recently emailed me a photo showing a place we visited together.
The Kallergi mountain refuge hanging over Samaria gorge: https://www.facebook.com/festivalaki.gr
Discovering new places in your own area can be very exciting. There are many nooks and crannies in Hania that are completely undiscovered as they are practically unknown to most people, and even if they are accessible, they are not really that easy to visit. My most recent hideaway discovery was made when we travelled 1686m up the mountain range that sits in the middle of the Hania prefecture.

My favorite photos from this high altitude; my homeplace feels so big because if you want to cross it, you need to go up and down the highlands, to get across from one side of the island to the other. If it were flat, it would not be such an exciting place.

While we were up high in the mountains of Crete, exploring the landscape, we came across an interesting toilet. Well, we found it interesting because it was located on a height of 1680m above sea level, and it had one of the most breath-taking views we have ever seen from a toilet window. And it didn't even smell.


WC TOILET ΧΕΣΤΡΑ (the last one means 'shit place' in Greek)

This special toilet - by a 'long drop', I'd say - has a view to the Libyan Sea on a clear day...


... and just in case anyone forgets what can go down the hole...


... the instructions make it quite clear:

ΜΟΝΟ ΧΕΣΙΜΟ = just shit

I have been to other weird and wonderful toilets in my life, but I think this one tops them off. If you are in Hania, and would like to see this unusual toilet, but can't quite make the 1989m altitude journey, you can try the toilet at Iguana beach in the Ayious Apostolous area: it's equally intriguing, albeit in quite a different way.


The following two toilets also get good marks for thier unique decoration, but I am not sure if they are still in use: the following photo is about 5 years old, taken at the KIPOS cafe which had a nice toilet theme a few years ago (I wonder if it has maintained it):
kipos cafe hania chania
... while the Chinese restaurant on Halidon St had a pretty oriental theme in June when I last visited (but it seems to be closed at the moment).

Times change. But life goes on...

©All Rights Reserved/Organically cooked. No part of this blog may be reproduced and/or copied by any means without prior consent from Maria Verivaki.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Post-crisis Greece

The original article, entitled "The other Greece", was published in Greek in ToVima: http://www.tovima.gr/opinions/article/?aid=536722It shows just how connected Greek food is with the Greek economy and Greek politics.

In the geothermal fields of Drama, small and large domestic investors exploit the underground hot water springs and either cultivate early asparagus or create modern greenhouses, with zero energy costs, producing colorful peppers, tasty tomatoes and delicious vegetables throughout the year, enjoying much better prices than usual. In the same geothermal zone. modern processors of edible olives dehydrate them in special driers using hot water, to create sweet, delicious Thassos throumbes olives (a very popular variety of table olive in Greece) that are free from salt and are exported to the demanding markets of the industrialized world.

In Serres, Veria, new cooperatives and producer groups for pomegranates and peaches are now reaping the benefits of contract farming. The sales from production are guaranteed, the price agreed in advance and, most importantly, funding for tree crops is secured by deposits at the beginning of the growing season. More and more farmers are now working under contract farming schemes.

Further south, some miles from the coast of Pieria, in the depths of the Thermaikos gulf, in specially demarcated maritime zones, new mussel farmers deploy ropes where impressive colonies of mussels are developed. Shellfish in the colder open sea grow more easily, they are cleaner and tastier, making gains in the international markets.

In Magnesia, groups associated with livestock farmers and feed processors who are now all online either place the actual day's milk for sale on the market or produce traditional yogurt, soon made available by major food chains.

In the Ionian sea, in the respective deep fish farming zones, uncontaminated fish is being raised in concrete cages with controlled feed through sensitive tubes. The fish learn to tweak the pipes which respond by releasing a controlled amount of food, without waste and pollution. The results here are impressive, with high fish populations, and they cost less.

In the confined livestock areas of Arcadia, the possibilities of goat milk are being discovered, and the many product options are exploited which have aroused the interest of French processors, who promote investment of 20 million euro to produce unfermented goat cheese.

Specific cultivation zones are being prepared by Agriculture Minister A. Tsaftaris for the Peloponnese oranges and lemons, looking for ways to enhance the flowering groves to increase production and to counter the reduced spring pollination observed in recent years due to temperature increase.

Respectively in the arid far south of Crete, the best choice is now the cactus plant aloe vera.  Approximately 2,500 acres of aloe are grown there and a manufacturing plant is being prepared to produce new products from its extracts, which are used by the rapidly growing global industry of cosmetics and female beauty.


Conversing with the most qualified minister in the Samaras government, Mr. A. Tsaftaris fills you with optimism as he believes that in those outposts, there stands another Greece, one of modern production and innovation, which has nothing to do with the misery of the crowded urban centres.

Post-crisis Greece: did I really write that? 

©All Rights Reserved/Organically cooked. No part of this blog may be reproduced and/or copied by any means without prior consent from Maria Verivaki.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Parade (Παρέλαση)

Parading is very important for Greeks. Most children will remember the times they took part in the school parades to celebrate 25 March and 28 October, Greece's two (so far) national days. My children love to wear their blue and white (usually blue jeans and a white shirt/blouse to take part in the parade. Although I am not a great fan of military parades, my heart was softened by some of this year's sights in Alikianos, a central village close to my children's schools, which suffered heavy losses during WW2. 

This little girl was waiting on the sidelines with her parents. She was carrying a hand-drawn flag which she had probably made at school, with a teacher's guidance, as is the custom in Greek primary schools before such events. She is most likely born in Greece - her parents were speaking Bulgarian - and Greece is the only country she has known. She will make a good Greek citizen when she is older.


These children come from the local village kindergarten. They look well nourished, well dressed, healthy and happy. They have all probably been born in Greece - but they are most likely not all of Greek heritage. 

My kids play in multi-cultural sports groups with mainly Easter European chidlren, but there is also one black child in their group, something that makes me very proud to see, especially now that Greeks are regarded as an extremely racist race, as if everyone is a Golden Dawn supporter, or they all kick Roma children on the street. This black child was the Greek flag bearer at a school in Athens, a privilege you get only if you are one of the best students in the class. 
In the past, it was common - for patriotic reasons - for riots to start up when a child that wasn't of Greek heritage was allowed to carry the flag, but this year, it seems that we have matured.

©All Rights Reserved/Organically cooked. No part of this blog may be reproduced and/or copied by any means without prior consent from Maria Verivaki.

NO day (ΌΧΙ)

Pindos mountains, 28 October 1940, 5.30am - The Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas denies the Italians' request to enter Greece in order to service the Axis (Nazi Germany). The Italians break through the Albanian-Greek border, entering Greek territory. It was freezing cold and the heavy rain turned to snow by the evening.

Greek soldier's letter to his wife:
My dearest Helen, Don't worry, things are going well here. My plan is going according to schedule. Don't believe anyone who refutes this, because they are spread malicious rumours. We are holding out well. In a short while, we will have dealt with the enemy, as required. I kiss you, Haralambos

Italian soldier's letter to his wife:
It's raining continuously. Everywhere. On the bed, on the sleeping bag, on the wooden table. The blankets are wet, so are all my clothes, and I can't light a fire. Oh for a little bit of fire... The cigarettes are also wet, and I can't light them. Those Greek pigs! They start shooting as soon as it stops raining, with very few breaks. My feet have frozen. My God! Send us some rays of sunshine! I hope I get a letter from someone, anyone, I don't care who! I can't take it anymore!

(from the 2011 SKAI documentary Greek Wars, 4th episode)

The video shows Greek cartoons from the WW2 period - click on the youtube link to see them.

Greece entered WW2 in this way and suffered great casualties with almost total destruction of all its infrastructure. At the end of WW2, it went through a civil war, but after 1950, it began to show signs of economic recovery. By 1962, it attained succession to the EEC (now known as the EU) which it formally entered in 1981.

So it is rather perturbing that on October 27 2011, the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou gave the OK to the French-German request that Greece give up her sovereignty to pay for a haircut. 70 years later, we lost everything that we had gained, with little hope of regaining it. It could not have happened at a worse time, so close to an important historical date when Greece sought to express her right to govern herself. There really is no such thing as a free lunch.

©All Rights Reserved/Organically cooked. No part of this blog may be reproduced and/or copied by any means without prior consent from Maria Verivaki.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Sweets (Γλυκά)

Sweets from the zaharoplasteio are a very common gift when visiting friends. This is the main reason I don't make many desserts for my dinner parties: I know that we will end up with too many sweets in the house.


Galaktoboureko (custard pie) is a traditional Greek favorite, along with baklavadakia or saragli, which are mini baklava-style baked pastry shapes; both of them are syrup-drenched, made with very thin sheets of filo pastry.

The chocolate torte was filled with cream and hardly any sponge cake. It was the most popular dessert, which means that there isn't much left of it today. Leftover galaktoboureko makes a great breakfast, and the mini-pastries are good as an after-dinner dessert, especially since they had the added twist of being made with chocolate-flavoured filo pastry.

©All Rights Reserved/Organically cooked. No part of this blog may be reproduced and/or copied by any means without prior consent from Maria Verivaki.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

St Dimitrios (Άγιος Δημήτριος)

The feastday of St Dimitrios, an early saint born in an aristocratic family in Thessaloniki, is a landmark calendar date in Greece.
St Dimitrios' relics are kept in the church of St Dimitrios in Thessaloniki, his birthplace. It's one of the most majestic churches I've ever visited in Greece, complete with catacombs.

It carries great significance for everyone in Greece, for different reasons. St Dimitrios' feastday signals many things in Greek culture:
- the first public holiday since August (NO day on October 28, which gives us a 3-day weekend this year)
- the start of the cold weather (and the need for heating)
- the end of daylight savings time (it will get dark really early from now on)
- the end of the tourist season (the charter flights stop coming to Greece around this time)
- the laying of the rugs in the house, in preparation for the colder weather (a Greek ritual)
- a feast day to celebrate a loved one called Dimitris or Dimitra (a very popular name in Greece)
- the start of the season of the season of γιορτές (yiorTES - feasts), as many namedays are celebrated according to the Greek Orthodox calendar from now until the end of the year (namedays are more popular than birthdays in Greece)
- the run-up to Christmas, as seen in the picture below:
Spotted yesterday in the town: this store has brought out its Christmas/winter decorations

The festive season is upon us.

Χρόνια Πολλά to all those celebrating!

©All Rights Reserved/Organically cooked. No part of this blog may be reproduced and/or copied by any means without prior consent from Maria Verivaki.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Acting on suspicions

Spying seems to be the topic of the year since the Snowden affair came to light, which helped to uncover a number of other spying activities. Just yesterday, we read about Angela Merkel's phone being hacked by the US:
Germany's chancellor says it is "really not on" for friends to spy on each other, as an EU summit is overshadowed by a row over US surveillance. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24647602
Spying on a formal basis is regarded as immoral and in many cases illegal, as we've seen lately from the news headlines. It also feels horrible because we feel we have been betrayed. The whole issue is based on a perceived belief that there is some kind of trust between the parties which was broken by one of them. Spying is so easy these days with the use of advanced technology, so most people/organisations are probably aware of this. We all try to cover our tracks in some way to maintain some privacy. It really isn't possible to be completely private: just clicking a 'like' on facebook or commenting on a blog can easily target you - you leave some kind of trace as you pass by, and people can use that information to spy on you.

Spying is not really a Greek trait. Generally speaking, Greeks don't spy. Neither are they a tattle-tale race. In fact, Greeks do things so openly - eg try to evade taxes, drive without a seatbelt/helmet, shout when they talk, etc - that they don't see any reason why someone would need to spy on them to catch them out. They do (or shoudl I say 'did') everything right under your nose, so to speak. One way to illustrate this is with something that happened to me in New Zealand when I was visiting in 2004. A Greek-Kiwi friend wanted to give us a lift somewhere in her car. When she came to pick us up, she noticed that we had our children with us. "Sorry," she said, "I can't put you all in my car. I don't have any child seats, and if someone notices this while we're on the road, you never know how they might react. They may even call the police and give them my licence plate number." No one in Greece who sees kids jumping up and down unrestrained in the back seat of a car (or sitting in their mother's lap in the front passenger seat while their mother isn't wearing a seatbelt) would put this in their heads. But in my Greek-Kiwi friend's mind, her fear was a real one.

That's partly what was behind the Irish cases of suspected child abduction. The interconnected world of Europe and the fast relay of news raised suspicions in the mind of the EU's northernmost extremity after a related incident that happened in the EU's southernmost extremity. (Before that, the only thing Ireland had in common with Greece was bad money management; even though Ryanair flies in and out of a number of Greek towns, there's no direct connection between Greece and Ireland - it's a bloody long way to Tipperary from here). But how did the Irish decide to 'pounce'? It wasn't the same as the Greek case at all. For a start, the Greek police were conducting a search for criminal activity, when they noticed something else that didn't look right. So the decision to remove the child from her parents in the Greek case came from the police officers directly involved in the incident, not from a tip-off from the public, a good number of whom will have seen the very white child surrounded by people much darker than herself on a number of occasions. Greeks don't call the police to resolve other people's problems for a number of reasons, possibly because they feel that the incident is none of their business, and they don't want to be incriminated themselves. Not trusting the police may also be another reason why they don't bother to report such incidents, but this has more to do with the attitude they might (once have) expect(ed) from the police if they were to report an incident that has nothing to do with them and the police were not investigating it in the first place. Greece is not a police state in the sense that other more developed countries are. Γύρευε την δουλειά σου, might have been the police's initial reaction in the past.

The Irish cases of suspected child abductions (which have since turned out to be false accusations) were similar to cases of spying - they were based on tipoffs from the public:
An Irish police inquiry that led to a girl (7) with blonde hair and blue eyes being removed from Roma family in Dublin was prompted when a member of the public, who had seen a news report on the Maria case in Greece, left a message with an Irish news programme. 
http://www.enetenglish.gr/?i=news.en.home&id=1563 
It happened just like my Greek-Kiwi friend explained to me in New Zealand - someone saw something that s/he judged to be illegal, so they decided to tell. In other words, they acted on their own preconceived ideas of what looks good and what looks bad. In the Irish cases, the member of the public sounded a little racist (if you ask me). And (if you ask me again), the police reacted on the basis of a racist assumption. This is not to say that the Greek police did not act on a similar basis - but they did not get tipped off by any member of the public. They had to make a decision on the spot about how to react. Whether their assumptions were deemed racist or not, they uncovered a hot of unacceptable criminal activity: not registering a birth, informal adoptions, lying about the number of children you have, and very significantly, given the way benefit fraud is now viewed in Greece, claiming money from the state that you are not entitled to are all deemed criminal activities, regardless of your culture or race; there are no exceptions on this one. One thing led to another, and now authorities in birth registration offices have been suspended (because they were regarded as not doing their jobs properly), and yet another case of Roma informal adoption (of a 2.5 month old boy) was discovered, this time on the island of Mitilini (and in this case, the 'parents' admitted that they were not the real parents, rather than go through the ridicule that their compatriots did).

Greeks generally don't spy on each other, and they generally don't get involved in other people's business. But there is a visible change here too, all crisis-related once again, which to my mind is so obviously going on, that people are blind if they can't see it (but not blind enough to claim a benefit). It seems that these days, when the authorities detect suspicious activity, they investigate/report it, whereas in the past, they turned a blind eye to it. This started mainly with the cases of benefit fraud. When the government first started seriously investigating the degree of benefit fraud (something everyone 'knew' was going on), it was discovered that certain areas in Greece seemed to show signs of high rates of the same disability among the population, which could not be explained, eg blindness in Zakinthos, which often suggested that a particular specialist doctor was involved, possibly signing people up for a benefit, no doubt taking his/her share too. A woman working in the benefits office realised that someone who was claiming a blindness benefit was actually able to see very well; I can't remember the story exactly, but the man claiming the disability allowance pointed to the exact place on a document which the woman had to stamp so he could continue to get the benefit. She reported this to her superiors, who acted on this information, so one thing led to another, and the fraudster was caught. In the past, either the clerk would not have bothered to report it or the superior would not have acted on anyone's claims. More of the same Γύρευε την δουλειά σου, as mentioned above. Back in those days, people in positions of authority were picking up a comfortable paypacket in a secure job environment: these days, acting on your suspicions when you have a job that involves authority and state funds is one way to show that you are doing your job appropriately and deserve your job, by showing others that you are being worth your salary.

At the moment in Greece, this new idea - acting on your suspicions - is being led by the top: people in authority, like the police and state workers. In the past, it was more common to hear: "The top is corrupt/lazy/dishonest, so why should I be clean/hard-working/honest?" This leads to the question: Will that have a rub-off effect onto the other layers that make up society? I don't see why not; Greece is just catching up with the 'real' world here, and Greeks had a bit of a rude awakening when they were forced to do it overnight. Before the crisis, they were simply procrastinating. Now, it looks like Greece is turning into a Big Brother state. But that was inevitable, if the country wanted to maintain the little dignity it had left. Even in the case of bringing down Golden Dawn, the state had to resort to breaking down the very strict privacy laws of the country. Could Greece remain an exception in these dire times we live in? Acting on suspicions is not a sign of racism or discrimination - it's a sign of the times.

Generally speaking, we don't see ourselves as having something to hide and because of the times we live in, we are aware that our movements are traceable. In other words, you have to be a little stupid to get caught out, or very naive not to realise that this is going on. But there are people among us who do have something to hide... and the person doing the actual spying knows this:
"The first rule of spying is: you never talk about it. Second, you only plant surveillance equipment to confirm what you already know." http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/shortcuts/2013/oct/18/spy-on-children-gordon-ramsay
And apparently, "there's nothing wrong with spying as long as you suspect foul play" (Little Fockers was playing tonight on ANT1 - I heard that line in the movie). Even my blog has a way to spy on readers too, through statistics counters. Without even trying very hard to discover this information, I have some idea about who is reading what on my blog, as you can see from the table below. (I've removed server names and IP numbers for security reasons, and changed times and dates.) I don't actually know the people personally, but if ever I need to act on suspicions (eg by way of odd/anonymous comments), I know how to track them. (There are also ways to ensure that your computer is not tracked here.) It's the wondrous way the interlinked world works. Being a technology buff, I love it. If it weren't for the internet, my stories would still be unwritten. I've never felt I was living in the wrong era.


 
Page Views:
21 (4 this visit)
Entry Page Time:
24 Oct 2013 12:00:37
Visit Length:
17 mins 52 secs
Browser:
IE 9.0
OS:
Win7
Resolution:
1613x1008
Total Visits:
12
Location:
Zurich, Switzerland
IP Address:
(server) (123.4.567.890) [Label IP Address]
Referring URL:
(No referring link)
Entry Page:
Exit Page:
Page Views:
1
Entry Page Time:
24 Oct 2013 12:10:19
Browser:
IE 10.0
OS:
Win7
Resolution:
911x512
Total Visits:
1
Location:
Dar Es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, United Republic of
IP Address:
(server) (123.4.567.890) [Label IP Address]
Search Referral:
 search.babylon.com — www.ionchocolate.com
Visit Page:
Page Views:
3
Entry Page Time:
24 Oct 2013 12:07:05
Visit Length:
2 mins 20 secs
Browser:
IE 8.0
OS:
Win7
Resolution:
1024x1280
Total Visits:
1
Location:
Lithonia, Georgia, United States
IP Address:
(server) (123.4.567.890) [Label IP Address]
Search Referral:
 www.bing.com — fasolada
Entry Page:
Exit Page:
Page Views:
3 (2 this visit)
Entry Page Time:
24 Oct 2013 11:57:09
Visit Length:
8 mins 39 secs
Browser:
Firefox 24.0
OS:
WinXP
Resolution:
1024x768
Total Visits:
8
Location:
Greece
IP Address:
(server) (123.4.567.890) [Label IP Address]
Referring URL:
(No referring link)
Entry Page:
Exit Page:
Page Views:
1
Entry Page Time:
24 Oct 2013 12:02:35
Browser:
Chrome 30.0
OS:
Win7
Resolution:
1366x768
Total Visits:
1
Location:
Athens, Attiki, Greece
IP Address:
(server) (123.4.567.890) [Label IP Address]
Referring URL:
 mikrikouzina.blogspot.gr/
Visit Page:
Page Views:
2
Entry Page Time:
24 Oct 2013 11:50:09
Visit Length:
10 mins 10 secs
Browser:
Safari 5.1
OS:
MacOSX
Resolution:
1440x900
Total Visits:
38
Location:
Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
IP Address:
(server) (123.4.567.890) [Label IP Address]
Referring URL:
(No referring link)
Entry Page:
Exit Page:
Page Views:
1
Entry Page Time:
24 Oct 2013 11:58:16
Browser:
Chrome 30.0
OS:
WinXP
Resolution:
1280x1024
Total Visits:
1
Location:
Athens, Attiki, Greece
IP Address:
(server) (123.4.567.890) [Label IP Address]
Referring URL:
 cretangastronomy.blogspot.gr/
Visit Page:
Page Views:
3 (1 this visit)
Entry Page Time:
24 Oct 2013 11:53:21
Browser/OS:
Chrome for Androi/Android
Mobile Device:
Google Nexus 10
Resolution:
1280x752
Total Visits:
15
Location:
Chaniá, Khania, Greece
IP Address:
(server) (123.4.567.890) [Label IP Address]
Referring URL:
(No referring link)
Visit Page:
Page Views:
1
Entry Page Time:
24 Oct 2013 11:52:43
Browser:
IE 9.0
OS:
WinVista
Resolution:
1280x1024
Total Visits:
155
Location:
Munich, Bayern, Germany
IP Address:
(server) (123.4.567.890) [Label IP Address]
Referring URL:
(No referring link)
Visit Page:
Page Views:
1
Entry Page Time:
24 Oct 2013 11:46:17
Browser:
Firefox 24.0
OS:
Win7
Resolution:
1600x900
Total Visits:
1
Location:
Guston, Kentucky, United States
IP Address:
(server) (123.4.567.890) [Label IP Address]
Referring URL:
 www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&docid=YWNwl3BlNW5V_M&tbnid=zb6Zbpa_J6nkxM:&ved=0CAMQjhw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.organicallycooked.com%2F2012%2F09%2Fbarbie.html&ei=TjtmUu7bIIWMyAHzwoHAAw&bvm=bv.55123115,d.aWc&psig=AFQjCNGY_aRHYmt3ivRbMT6s_RGVGd5IWg&ust=1382517946144727
Visit Page:
Page Views:
8 (4 this visit)
Entry Page Time:
22 Oct 2013 11:44:02
Visit Length:
1 min 13 secs
Browser:
Chrome 30.0
OS:
Win7
Resolution:
1920x1080
Total Visits:
394
Location:
Ålborg, Nordjylland, Denmark
IP Address:
(server) (123.4.567.890) [Label IP Address]
Referring URL:
(No referring link)
Entry Page:
Exit Page:
Page Views:
1
Entry Page Time:
24 Oct 2013 11:36:18
Browser:
IE 9.0
OS:
WinVista
Resolution:
1280x720
Total Visits:
3
Location:
Heraklion, Iraklion, Greece
IP Address:
(server) (123.4.567.890) [Label IP Address]
Referring URL:
(No referring link)
Visit Page:
Page Views:
2
Entry Page Time:
24 Oct 2013 11:19:35
Visit Length:
37 seconds
Browser:
IE 10.0
OS:
Win7
Resolution:
1680x1050
Total Visits:
1
Location:
Athens, Attiki, Greece
IP Address:
(server) (123.4.567.890) [Label IP Address]
Referring URL:
 www.google.gr/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=images&cd=&docid=uMdLQEKtq0IbaM&tbnid=yk38DmNEccUlwM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.organicallycooked.com%2F2010_06_01_archive.html&ei=ETVmUsH9E8XEtAa094HIDA&psig=AFQjCNHOiM-j-VorM6aO-FpUSWbhbcJEAQ&ust=1382516357988556
Entry Page:
Exit Page:
Page Views:
1
Entry Page Time:
24 Oct 2013 11:25:41
Browser/OS:
Android/Android
Mobile Device:
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Pad
Resolution:

1280x800
Total Visits:
85
Location:
Wellington, New Zealand
IP Address:
(server) (123.4.567.890) [Label IP Address]
Search Referral:
(No referring link)
Visit Page:
Big brother is watching you...

©All Rights Reserved/Organically cooked. No part of this blog may be reproduced and/or copied by any means without prior consent from Maria Verivaki.