local-kiwi-alien

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

What's up Doc...


The Greek High Court has upheld the ban on e-cigarettes.  There will be no vaping, well not legally anyway, in public places and no advertising allowed.  They are to be treated the same as an ordinary cigarette.  Around here that doesn't mean much at all.  Most cafeterias and tavernas have large outdoor seating areas where everyone smokes to their hearts (or lungs) content.  On cold, wet days inside space will usually be covered by a fog of smoke.  If you don't like it you sit outside.  Vaping has become popular and smokers of e-cigs buy chocolate flavoured 'smokes' or tzatziki, strawberry, just about any flavour you can dream up. 


Quad Bikes 
Two wheels good, four wheels bad

The next things that could be banned are quad bikes.  They will be banned from all roads but allowed as recreational vehicles on sandy beaches and mountain tracks.  Quad bikes are called 'gourounes' here, female pigs in fact. No I don't know why.


I don't know what I'll do without mine.  It will mean going back to driving a boiling hot car in the middle of summer and trying in vain to find a parking spot down in the town in the tourist season.

Quad bikes are popular all over the islands and quad bike hire to tourists brings in a lot of money.  Yesterday there was a protest 'march' of bikes in Athens against the ban.  Rental stores in the last few years have being adding to their ATV fleet and are in for a big loss if the ban takes place.




One of the thickest  dust clouds ever has covered most of southern greece.  The  orange dust cloud which came sweeping up from the Sahara desert was so thick that in Crete schools closed and the elderly were warned not to venture outside.  Here it was dull and 'foggy' and the sun hardly pierced the dust cloud.

Some years ago 'they' told us this dust was full of nutriments and good for plants and trees.  Now it seems the dust is full of heavy metals and we should stay inside or wear masks.

When it rains the dust settles and stays.  Cars and outside furniture have to be scrubbed clean.  A jet of water from the hose does not remove the orange sediment.

Basil
We planted our first basil plants of the summer today.



Parade
Some photos from the National Day celebrations


School children parade on the waterfront



Grandaughter, in traditional local costume, lays wreath on behalf of the Secondary School


And here she is taking part in the dancing after the parade









14 comments:

  1. The dust cloud will be here tomorrow,so i heard, bad timing as every one is busy with Passover cleaning.

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    1. You must get an even thicker cloud. Not good for cleaning. Even the leaves of the roses in the garden are a dirty orange!

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  2. The dust is healthy for the environment but not for humans to breathe I think is the answer. It has turned the snow orange sepia coloured in Europe.

    In England where cigarettes are banned they are also saying that this includes E cigarettes.

    Quad bikes are popular here on farms and also with thieves. They have to be well hidden away or they disappear.

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    1. Healthy or not it is darn nuisance. Went out in the car this morning and had to take to the windscreen with sponge and soapy water.
      Ecigs at least smell nice! My daughter has one and chocolate and mint, orange, baclava.....pleasing aromas

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  3. Quads are popular here as well. And yes they are dangerous but pretty much everything is these days. You just have to be careful.
    I don’t like the e-cigarettes. But at least they don’t make smoke. So I think if one wants to slowly kill themselves then at least with the vaping they don’t take anyone else with them
    The dust storm looks terrible. We had a few here in the last few weeks. But ours was toxic. Which is good.

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    1. Motorscooters are just as dangerous here. English tourists can hire a scooter with a drivers license even if they have never driven a bike before. Our firend Stella who hires out scooters gives them a quick lesson and off they go. 'off' being the right word here! Quads are ok on the roads here if driven at appropriate speeds and without a drunken driver!!!

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  4. I saw a woman just yesterday puffing on one of those e-cigs; she looked very furtive and silly. You don't see much smoking (of any sort) here.

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    1. I think greece must have one of the highest numbers of smokers in the EU, probably the world. Many people gave up for economic reasons but many still smoke as the restrictions are not obeyed and cigarettes are still a reasonable price. Putting the cost of a packet up to 20 euros or even 10 would stop a lot of people

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  5. I think its awful when you see people stood outside pubs in the rain smoking cigarettes. Its like they are second or third class citizens. Why can't they have seperate 'smoking' areas with big extractor fans fitted? I haven't smoked for over twenty years. But I can't see why somebody can't smoke inside the pub.

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    1. Used to that alcohol and cigarettes went together like beer with a pizza. There are designated areas in cafeterias now, usually outside surrounded by plastic in the winter but no one takes any notice of that and smokes wherever they want. Doesn't worry me as long as the smoke isnt actually beign blown straight into my face. My two girls smoke and even I have a cigarette at times with them.

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  6. I love the traditional clothes. Wow that dust looks awful. Probably like you, when the wind is high our house gets battered and my windows are filthy with a salty film. It is going to make gardening really hard I think. We did not put any thought into that when we bought this house. I have a few herbs growing and put some flowers in to 'tart' the front of the house up as it looks ugly. But we are leaving it as ugly as we can at the moment as we are hoping for planning permission to alter the house. fingers crossed. Will the dust stain the walls? urgh!

    I saw something where a person died from Vaping as the oil re-solidified in their lungs and coated the inside so they were not getting oxygen. maybe that is the reason. if so, Greece is ahead of the UK in banning it.

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    1. My parents and my brother used to have houses right next to the beach, almost on the waves. There are definitley some negatives to living so close to salt water. Cars need cleaning regularly to get rid of the salt, silver gets tarnished very quickly. My father was an ardent gardener. He planted wind breaks all around his vegetable beds first to protect them from ocean winds.
      Salty windows, yes, I remember that too. A bit more work than living inland but lovely to see the waves and breathe in that clean salt air!

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    2. I think Linda is saying they are banned in places where cigarette smoking is already banned. This is the case here in Norfolk, England. "No vaping" signs along with the "no smoking" signs and also public announcements at railway stations, no vaping and no smoking.

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    3. Yes you're right Rachel. Never heard of vaping being dangerous, just irritating.

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