Thursday, 22 September 2022

Visiting Day

 Visiting day at the Naval Base.  The new recruits have had a week of confinement at the Base here, plus another week or so at the main marshelling station in Athens.  They used to spend 6 weeks here but now it's more like 3.  Learning to march, handle guns, peel potatoes, garden.  Basic training.


Every greek male is supposed to do time in the armed forces once they reach 18, with very basic pay. Time in the Navy was 2 years but it's down to something like 9 months now.  Not too much time to spend away from Mama but a nuisance if you're studying or starting a new job.  It can be delayed until after your studies and those escaping overseas can now get some sort of exemption.  They used to be nabbed as they re-entered the country and sent into the army.


Our oldest grandson has put his conscription off till he ends his studies in a couple of years time. 


The 2 Sundays here at the base they are allowed out till 4pm.  A few hundred young sailors are joined by several hundred mothers, grandmothers, girlfriends and a few Dads all eager to fuss over their young boys.  


We hadn't realised it was visiting day when we went for coffee and arrived at the lower gate of the Base to find young lads dressed in white flocking out into the parking lot, heading for the cafes and tavernas in town.  


From experience we knew it was touch and go whether we found an empty table at our favourite cafe.  While K parked up I dashed for our cafe which is first in the line of harbour cafes.  I grabbed a table, not our usual one, but with a view of goings on and out of the sun.


The regulars were noticeably absent, either by choice or because 'their' tables were already occupied



Mamas and Grandmamas bring tupperware containers of meatballs and dolmathes to feed up their sons who are fading away without their homecooking



Sailors, sailors everywhere


14 comments:

  1. Peeling potatoes and gardening sound like skills for life. Don't think I would like the idea of conscription though. Do the females not need to be conscripted?

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    1. Females are not conscripted, yet. But if the Turkish keep up with their threats we will all be conscripted

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  2. Those poor boys must have been starving. Good old mama.

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  3. Home-cooked food handed over at the taverna/cafe - bit of a cheek isn't it? Being amputated from Mama's apron strings is possibly a good thing for a lot of them.

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    1. Most of them need those apron strings amputated but according to K they have a very soft time now and so many of them use the 'its who you know' to get a cushy position close to home. Heaven knows what would happen if there really was a war

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  4. It seems the whole world is getting softer.
    If we ended up in real trouble most of the younger generation would just collapse into puddles Looks like it will be the oldies having to carry on. My dad avoided the army by coming to australia to live.

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  5. As you know, no conscription here but one of Doug's grandsons is down in Wellington at present training for the Police.

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    1. You're very lucky down there. No need for large armies

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  6. The way things are going here, a bit of discipline would be a good thing.

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    1. That's what everyone says. Make a man if them. Well it does to some, not long enough for others

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  7. Sailors always look so dashing in their white uniforms :)

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