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Studying

Alright, I'm sure I will fail the Civil Law exams tomorrow so why am I even studying right now. And this book doesn't seem to end! I'm still just past the middle. I wonder why I have even started studying when I had really decided to sit the exams for this in September. Oh well... I have already had a super strong coffee that will probably hold me up for another 4 hours anyway so I guess I will go back to studying "interesting" things like if a 10-year-old can legally buy a bar of chocolate or should (s)he wait till (s)he's 14?

Law Studies & Exams-Tax Law

One down, at least 3 to go (because I don't know if I will sit History of Law or Constitutional History)! So Tax Law wasn't as easy as they told us but still it was easy... I think. We got three "practical" tax issues and we had to do the first and then choose between the other two. I have already found one mistake (or better say "big theoretical omission"). There was this law that said that there is a 2% tax on some kinds of products and it is paid by the customer. And the question was "what is the subject of the tax". I-always the practical one, too practical for my own good, in fact-answered that since the customer is the one that pays the tax, then the customer is the subject of the tax. In fact I should have answered that the shop is the de jure subject of the law (meaning that they are the ones that will take the money and then give it to the state) but the customer is the de facto subject (since, as I answered, its his/her money that pay the tax). I don't know if she-like the bitch she is-will count my answer as completely or partially wrong. But if you ask me, law is supposedly a theoretical field of studies, but in truth what counts is the practicallity and the ability to see things with a realistic, cold, measuring way. (like I do :P) And in this subject, if ever you need to use this kind of (useless in my opinion) piece of knowledge, the thing that's gonna matter is whose money pay! That being said, I really think that she has every right to  count my answer as completely wrong.
Anyway, since I know that this rambling doesn't interest anyone-not even me- I will only say that I think that I will have something like a 6/10, but you never know. Oh well, there's always September.

It's Introduction to Law Studies (what we call Civil Law-even though there are only some things of Civil Law in there) on Thursday: 243 pages of blood, sweat and tears. Honestly, this subject is really important. It's-along with Constitutional Law-the most important of the first semester. And I don't understand a word. Not that I've tried. I find it totally boring and as usual I have left it for the last minute, which can probably guarantee me that I will fail. And-worse-the exams are in 9 in the morning! I couldn't pass if I were awake, how am I going to pass when i'm taking the exams (half-)asleep?! But then the next subject is International Organisations on February 4th. I love that subject! And I think that I will pass given that I haven't missed almost no lesson-I was so entusiastic about it!

Alright, so today, although I really should have studied, I didn't. I don't have any self-discipline. I don't know if there's a way to fix that, except for a dramatic change of character, which I am not sure I want to suffer at this point. So I went to the youth community and then for coffee (the national sport) with Marialiki. We had one of our marathon talks, but it left me feeling so pessimistic and idiotic that I had to call Antonis, for a triple shot of joy and μαλακία, to take my mind off my self-pity. But he couldn't talk, he was going out, so I called Demetra. I should have called her in the first place, she is really better than Antonis in making me feel like myself, but I haven't talked to him for weeks and I miss him...
And this is the part where I complain about stupid things like the weather. It was fucking sunny and hot and spring-like on the morning and I had hang my clothes out to dry. And then out of the blue there comes the motherfucking rain. And the clothes are really wet and dirty again so now I have to wash them again. Not only that, but I have another pile of clothes waiting to be hang and I really hope they don't develop a million kinds of mould as they are quietly waiting in the washing machine for the rain to stop. So there you go: Now not only do I have to study for my tax and civil law exams, I have to wash and hang clothes again!!! FUCK! (I realise that I swear about trivial things but at the moment I have a lot of anger, mostly directed at myself, and I need to direct it somewhere else, before I take up some good ol' methodes that I tried really hard to quit. And no, I don't want to elaborate.)
Anyway the girls came over and we watched Little Miss Sunshine while eating a ton of souvlakia. Nothing like food and a good movie to lift you up!

it's holding me, morphing me and forcing me to strive
to be endlessly cold within and dreaming I'm alive

Exams, tasks and general life

Our exams start on Tuesday with tax law, and I still have seen only the front cover of the books we're supposed to study... Anyway, the program is: Tuesday 27/2 Tax Law, Thursday 29/2 Civil Law, Wednesday 4/2 International Organisations, Monday 9/2 Constitutional Law, Thursday 12/2 Constitutional History, Tuesday 17/2 History of Law and Friday 20/2 General Sociology.
But at the moment I have more important concerns than the exams, like the fact that you can barely walk in my house with stepping/stumbling on something and obviously I should be cleaning it soon, and also that there is nothing edible in my house except for some cereal (but no milk) and some orange juice well past its prime... So now I am really, really hungry and I have to wait until 7 when the school restaurant opens... I don't know if I can make it lol
Yesterday Christiana came by, because we live very close to one another and she comes over everytime she needs company/air/both, and we once again proved that one can watch tv or the computer screen for hours and hours without his eyes turning square. Bravo, us!
Tonight I have two options: Either I'll go to some kind of concert about the Palestinians or I will go out with the kids from the Literature department of the youth community (because all work and no play...). Probably I'll try to do both... I don't know. It's a hard thing to decide lol!
And I think I have my first real crush on someone... And I can't talk to him because I am so shy-for the first time in my life... And he's leaving the youth community... Where will I be seeing him now? Oh I'm so pathetic... So. Pathetic.

Greece

Ok so I had a plane ticket for today. By now I should be in Athens... But there was a general strike today in Greece and the flight was canceled. Therefore I am flying tomorrow morning. I'm not going to complain about the inconvenience that this change was for me because right now I am totally supporting this strike.

Greece has the greatest unemployment percentage in the whole EU. We have university degrees and the only job we can get is that of the delivery boy and the babysitter. My teacher's sister, just got her Law degree and is practicing at an office in Thessaloniki. She works 10+ hours a day for 400 euros a month. One of her friends is doctor at the Alexandroupoli hospital. Every day he has to save lives and they still owe him the salaries of 3 months.

Our social security system sucks. We don't know if we'll ever going to become pensions. Hell, our parents don't know if they're going to get pensions. Already 10000 petitions for pension and εφαπαξ (the money that the give you immediately after you go into retirement) are being processed. They'll continue being processed for some months, something tells me, for the state has no money to give those people who have worked for 40 or more years, paying money out of their salary each month of those years just to get that pension.

Our educational system goes from bad to worse, and I should now. I'm still involved in it. While our universities are very good, the rest of it is defective. Can you imagine children with no time for playing, children that, like adults, all need at the end of the day is to lay on the couch and watch television because they are too tired? Well, those are the Greek kids. Children of 9+ years spend 7 hours at school and then a minimum of 2 hours every afternoon at a private school, where they go to learn english, french, german, music, sports, dancing, computer skills etc. Do those activities sound stupid to you? Well, just think then that the kids will need to speak english and a second language with great eloquence when they grow up, just to get a job. Even the state demands that so that you can work in the public sector. And, mind you, those skills are not offered at schools. Later on the children-teenagers now-will have to have more private lessons just to have a chance at passing at the University. Because everybody has a University degree now...

And all that just to come out one day and realize that after all these, with your proficiency in English/German/French... diplomas, with your University/Masters degrees, you still can't find a job unless you leave your country. And to top all that, you have to pay for your kid to go through all of these just to have a chance in life like you had-if after all somehow you can afford to have a marriage or a child.

So don't you all, European and American newspaper, European and American people, tell me that the Greeks have rioted, that they are breaking down, burning, destroying buildings, banks, shops because they have broken down, have burnt, have destroyed us. Our childhoods, our teenage years, our lives, our future, our dreams. And maybe our parents-the old ones-have accepted that, but I find it hard to accept it.

I can't accept that I'm going to have a family at my 40s-if at all-because I just won't be having any money earlier than that. Or that I will have done all that studying just to work for 700 euros a month. If not less. Would you accept it?!

All Hell Broke Loose

So for everyone that doesn't know, Greece is fucked up at the moment. The whole center of Athens is either burnt, burning or being broken. Thousands of Greek are coming down on the streets almost every day. And honestly I don't know what to think, what to believe and how to judge the situation.

It all started on Sunday, when the cops shot at a 15-year-old, Alex, and killed him. Then all hell broke loose. A demonstration of about 200 people became a demontration of 6000 or more. And more are demonstrating every day, all over Greece.

The truth is that the Greek cops have done more harm than good all those years: torturing immigrants and generally those they arrested, beating people that peacefully demonstrating and university students with left political opinions... And now they have killed someone in cold blood so obviously.

Karamanlis, the Prime Minister, has called all the party leaders along with the President to discuss the matter and things are looking pretty serious. I think that after 6 or so years of obvious corruption and scandals and another 10 or so years of more covered but still obvious corruption the people have had enough. They demand change. But I'm not so sure if we're going to get it.

Trip to the tax service

I finally woke up and went to pay the bill for the water. It took me a while to find out in which of the 3 different water service buildings I was supposed to pay the freaking bill, but thankfully once I found it I finished very quickly. Then I went to the tax service to bring them my house contract. But, like the stupid cow I am, I forgot to change the date on it (we signed it on October 4th and I had to bring it to them within a month). Anyway when the man I gave it to noticed it I took the pen and changed the date from 4/10/2008 to 4/11/2008. He only sighed and took the paper. I feel really stupid that I didn't notice it earlier (I don't mind missing the deadline and having to change it: after all, this is the greek tax system!) but I'll never stop thanking my resourcefulness.

So our movie "shows" didn't go too good. Which means that the only people that showed up were Leonidas, Katerina and me (all from the cinema department of the community), Marialiki and Katalin (a friend of Leonidas). Not even Dimitris came: he only brought the movies and came for the last show yesterday. But in some sense it was better because, apart from the fact that there wouldn't be any place for more people to sit except if we all sat really close together, we got to make jokes and laugh about the movies as much as we liked. Besides Leonidas' computer doesn't like to co-operate with the DVDs we want to play so there is a lot of swearing about Christ and his Mother going on...
Today Christiana invited us, Marialiki and I, for lunch. She had cooked chicken with rice. It was very nice and we really get along very well together. Better than with the other girls that I have met here. Tonight we're going to a rock (I think) concert in the History & Ethnology school. And maybe we'll go somewhere else after that too...

Things to do

Today is the second day of the Cultural Alkyonides in Komotene (they are cultural events that our youth community organizes) which is of course very awesome. But what is more awesome is that Leonidas and I finally managed to get everything ready for the movie "festival" of the community. That means that today, tomorrow and on Monday we will watch 9 movies: three german movies today, three spanish movies tomorrow and three italian movies on Monday. We even managed to hang the "screen". Ok so the circumstances aren't the best but hey we only were given the equipment on Thursday so we had to make things as best as we could in so little time.

On Wednesday we have the first-year elections, something that only happens in this university in Greece which of course means that the school will be closed on that day. It will also be closed on Tuesday because supposedly we, first-years, should be informed for said elections. I so loved the greek way: there is always an excuse to escape work!

On Friday the youth community will have a book exhibition (or whatever it is called). From Friday to Sunday we will hold it in a cafeteria (!) and then for 2 days in Law School.

Finally on December, 9th it's the 60th anniversary for the treaty against genocide and on 10th for the UN declaration of human rights. Therefore we'll do something to honor those anniversaries with the local team of Amnesty International. Unfortunately (at least from that point of view) I leave on the 10th for Athens. I'll be getting back to Komotene again after the Christmas holidays. That's because I have "won" a scholarship and I have to go all the way to Athens to shake hands with the president of the institute. Anyway. That's a very good chance to see my father and my friends in Athens!


Ok, in this list of "things-to-do" I have forgotten one thing. The University of Macedonia (the greek region not the country) is organizing a simulation of a UN, an EU and a NATO conference in April in which our school takes part. Our professor in International Organisations called us to participate and on December 2nd another professor of International Law will inform us on this. I am thinking of taking part but I haven't decided yet... We'll see.

Finally, due to all those things along with my german and french lessons and of course my lessons at the school (though I have stopped attending many of them) have started making my life quite stressful. I was talking to two of my friends the other day, Marialiki and Christiana, and it came down to this: even if any of us had any proposals to go out someone we wouldn't have time to put that too in our schedule. Or we'd be too tired... lol! Which makes it quite good that we don't have proposals. At least me. That way I won't have to choose between all those things that I really like and someone.