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My Week in Athens… May 10

I had the pleasure of hosting 2 business colleagues for a ‘non-business’ couple of days in Athens. These colleagues are both successful professionals, in their 40’s, well-travelled - one Polish, one Turkish. We were quite a sight…






We started Saturday with a slow breakfast at HipCafe at Syntagma (yes, they have pancakes), then wandered around the centre, ventured through Plaka, up the Akropolis and stopped in Thissio for a late lunch. Later, Monastiraki, Ermou, Syntagma and Kolonaki. The evening began with dinner, and ended with a couple drinks around Plateia Karitsi…

I know what you’re thinking – yeah, so what? We do that all the time.

Well, that’s my point. I know it’s ‘more of the same’ for some of us, something we’ve done over and over and ad nauseum. But let’s not take it for granted – we can’t be that jaded...

My colleagues were amazed, to say the least. They kept commenting on the ‘energy’, the ‘life’ of the city centre. Yes, history and ancient culture and western civilization – this amazed them too. But what they didn’t expect in this city of crisis was the relentless and unapologetic buzz of the people. My Polish friend commented that, after 2 days in the city, he is ‘officially optimistic’ about the future of Greece. “Just let them go! Remove the barriers to entrepreneurship, and watch this place go!” he said. Interesting…

We had a wonderful weekend; I was feeling pumped and positive about the possibilities that lay ahead of us… By Monday morning, I was back to square one (I gather most of us were…) – not sure what to think, and a bit unsure about what lay ahead…

They say hope dies last. For now, I’m still hopeful…

Until next week,

Jack
Wednesday, May 9, 2012