Expat zone
Posted on: Sep 25, 2016

One or zero, memories of bipolar Greece

By
Alex Kyrkos
Alex Kyrkos

This post is also available in Greek

People in my life are zero or one. I feel bipolar in my relationships. Greeks are like that. They will love you or hate you, there is nothing in between. And in order to be loved, Greeks need to see the truth. They have to know whose child you are, what do you do for a living, if you are married or not, what job your parents do, so they can be sure that they will not waste their time with you.

As a culture, we generally do not like "foreigners" and "different people". We do not like when someone does not speak our language, does not know our way of life, does not know about good food, does not believe in God, does not live as "suggested by society" and does not know how to be in a group and not an individual. You must pass a lot of criteria for the real doors to open.

One or zero. In Greece didn’t have a problem with people. There, I knew what to do, here I don’t. Here I don’t accept certain behaviors and in every opportunity I get back to my easy solution, the bipolarity I have inherited from back home, selecting or rejecting people just like that. Here I choose my circle, there I couldn’t. I had the “must” and “do not”.

One and zero, as Greeks we have experienced both, in less than one generation. We had everything and lost it. We are still waking up from the shock, we still have no idea what happened. How is it all gone? The vacations, large dinners, friends. We woke up one day and the wall had fallen. The one that was separating us from reality. No more vacation loans, the dream of working for the goverment sector, the holiday houses, we only got left with a frappe, the sun and a passport.

Papers, diplomas, lower and proficiency degrees, a suitcase full of papers paid with time and effort and we started travelling around the world searching for our lost dreams.

One or zero. Greeks divided for a life and together only in victory. Together in victory of our team, our political party, Eurovision, the Olympic Games. Divided in all the rest. Often far from the truth we seek. Closed inside this bipolarity, because this is what we learned, not to talk and say what we really think but only what the world wants to hear.

We grew up with “what people might say” and eventually people didn’t say anything. And now that we have become the "people" we are trying to find our place. To escape from this national bipolarity, not everything is a zero or a one, not everything is joy or sorrow. Now that we have seen the edges let's try to find our balance.

The photos were taken from my good friend & photo-ninja Thrasos Panou.

Born in Volos in 1980. As a kid was filled many concerns about life. Sports lover, naturalist and big fan of travelling. He has majored in multimedia development and the past few years he's grown passionate for photography and photo editing. His purpose is to offer the world the best images one can shoot and edit. Believes that everybody has an artist inside. It only takes for one to believe in himself. You can find about more at Thrasos website: Thrasivoulos Panou Photography

Yota Baron
Alex Kyrkos
nn.png

Designer, marketer & a social media karate kid (No 4). When she grows up, she wants to feed the world with Greek food & Frappe. Admires the yellow angry bird because it strikes its targets with power and precision.