I Can Read Greek?!

Posted by avatarOmar last updated April 25, 2006 at 5:14 pm


And so can anybody that has taken any kind of mathematically related schooling, especially in physics.  Turns out that those really were courses in greek and not just modeling physical phenomenon.  I learned this fact when I stopped over in Athens over the weekend.  Athens is a very tourist friendly city, so most of the signs have english writing underneath the original greek.  This position turns every single sign into a part of a larger primer to decipher the language.  A lot of english letter are derived from greek letters so those similarities are easy to spot, there are some quirky differences though like the greek H = english I, and greek B = english V.  As for the specific greek symbols, the way to read those is by looking at the name of the letter and then taking the first english letter from that name as the sound.  So a muu is an "m" sound, a delta is "d" sound, etc.  Now, understanding these words is a completely different matter, but being able to read some greek is an awesomely unexpected side effect of my atrociously boring engineering degree.

This similarity with a twist is something I found ran throughout my Greek Experience, very short as it was.  People look and dress the same as in Canada, but there are more dresses, peasant shirts, and slicked back hair.  All befitting the gorgeous weather constantly drenched in sun I'm sure.

Scooter Madness

One of the bigger things that stands out to me is how Athens is like one giant motorcycle commercial.  I swear, driving a motorcycle or scooter just never looked so damn fun.  And it's not one or two people motoring around on these things, but hundreds of them.  In Canada the ratio of 4-wheel to 2-wheeled vehicle is closer to 20:1, I think there are more snowmobiles that motorcycles even.  The greeks have a ratio closer to 3:1.  And when they zip around they're all having the times of their lives.  To a one, they all had the biggest smiles on their faces as they drove past me.  Many of the drivers had a companion (or even 2!) on the back and they would be laughing and laughing enjoying a joke only they knew and us pedestrians and bus-jockeys could only dream of.  If Honda, or Vespa want to sell these machines to everybody in the Universe, just take a feed of a major highway and broadcast it around the world.

Strap Problems

Ok, I'm proud to admit I have a messenger bag, otherwise known as a man-purse, murse or any one of a bunch of slanderous and derogetory pseudonyms meant to maintain screwed up and obsolete fashion gender roles.  They're extremely useful carrying any reasonably sized item making it available for quick and easy access, they're fashionable as they accessorize... well everything, and mine's leather which makes it soft.  Now, these utilitarian devices do have their downsides, most notably making it quite awkward to run, and having the tendency to hit you in the face when you bend over to tie your shoe laces.  But that's why you go laceless.  My major problem with the messenger bags is the massive increase in apparent cup-size they bring.  Now, I'm not Micheal Phelps, but I can also play a full game of tennis without need of a bypass.  When I put that bag on and it goes in the middle of my chest it pushes the middle of my shirt down, which gives the illusion of the surrounding area moving up.  That surrounding area has the medical name of the pectoral muscles, but when people see them with my bag on, they call them man-boobs.  As if the fight for masculinity while wearing the "man-purse" isn't hard enough.