Sunday, 2 June 2013

Litter and class

I think it was on our seventh day on Tilos that I saw my second piece of litter. It was a crushed and empty Marlboro packet. Rubbish dumped on vacant plots, yes. Street litter, no.

It would be a fag packet of course. The Greeks are Europe's heaviest smokers and smoke their way to an early death in the way that we drink our way to ours. This emerged from a conversation with an extremely thoughtful taverna/hotel owner, age 34, who has never been to the UK, studied the Cambridge certificate (?) between the ages of 6 and 16, and speaks better English than many or most Brits. 

We had a discussion about class, and without going into details, let me just say that he used the films of Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to illustrate different attitudes to class found in northern England compared with London. 

He remembers the travel company Laskarina who did so much to make the quieter Greek islands accessible to British holidaymakers, and also to explain to Greek hotel and villa owners what the basic needs of a civilised Brit are when on holiday. Laskarina closed down some years ago, but our friend remembered their clients mainly for their use of the word 'splendid'. Everything, he said, was absolutely splendid. 

As others hear us!

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