Expat zone
Posted on: Apr 19, 2013

Feeling sane again in the land of the crazy


This post is also available in Greek

I was born and raised in Greece 31 years ago by a Greek mother and a Serbian father, hence the weird name for a Greek. Having two nationalities and 2 passports immersed me into many different countries when I was a young boy. By the age of 6 I had lived half my life in Serbia, Croatia and Hungary with my grand parents and the other half with my parents back in Greece. It was amazing for me, looking through the eyes of a child back then, how these almost neighboring countries could be so socially different. Not culturally, but socially, especially in how they treated each other as an entire country.

But as I was growing up and started going to school I realized that I had to make a choice. There was no choice to be made really, I knew what I was. I was Greek and yes, I was Serbian as well but my heart was 100% blue and white. That didn't make any difference offcourse. Kids and people who think like kids still saw me as the "Serbian" and it was almost comical that all my Serbian friends called me "The Greek".

And kids are fucking mean man. Beatings and racism ensued. I wasn't the wimpy type, I spoke out, not a "nerd" (till way later), an average student, always fought back and I was an 85 Kg clumsy beast for my age. But that didn't make a difference, because simply I was "different". I spent most of my adolescent life fighting to be Greek and fighting to be accepted. Bled a lot, broke some stuff and made a lot of people bleed as well.

And then suddenly, we grew up. Adults don't think about that stuff anymore. Not that much anyways, especially when life is well. I forgave in my mind all the kids that had haunted me. It wasn't their fault. It was my country's fault. That's how they educated them and thank someone, but somehow they outgrew it. My biggest adolescent nemesis is now a firm believer of anarchism in its purest form and loves all people and all colors. I know, its one of those WTF moments? A generous and hearty person and I like to think that I helped in a way like he helped me, become stronger in his own twisted way. I like to think he thought about me or us at some point. I know it.

And hence I reached adulthood, filled with the cultures of many countries that were just around mine and feeling like a persecuted minority in all of them. And I realized that I was crazy. I was yet again, a minority in my own country. You see, crazy, is the right term here. All I could see comparing to the other cultures that I had seen, was unlawfulness around me, no common sense and corruption to the core! And I spoke out, to my family, to my co workers, to everyone I could meet. And almost all of them thought I was crazy. Only the "crazies" didn't think so. So I started to believe it at some point. I convinced myself I was a crazy one, and I loved it.

Starting your adult life, craziness is forgiven in my country's culture. After all you constantly hear people saying about someone that "he will grow up eventually", even if that someone is reaching 30. But my kind of craziness is not forgiven in my country. It is abused and it is punished in some cases. And as I grew up, I started to have ideas and thoughts to hide my craziness, become a cog in the corrupted and crazy system I was living in. "Blend in".

The only thing that kept me crazy enough was seeing the holes opening in my now sinking country. That's when the craziness kicked in and I took the decision to move the country where most of the people I know consider it a country filled with crazies, smoking pot, having prostitutes on display and with gay people left and right. What better fit for me, after all, I was crazy!

A year and a half later, I feel the most sane I ever felt in my life. Lets face it. They drove me crazy!

They drove me crazy!
Mike Klianis