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It’s a Greek thing… — 7 Comments

  1. The dictionaries that I’ve looked at seem to agree that the (US) English word ‘Malarkey’ is of unknown origin but it looks remarkably similar to your Greek word μαλακία. I bet the Greek sounds better though.

    • That’s something that hadn’t occurred to me, but yes, you’re right, the similarities in the word and meaning make that a distinct possibility. I rather like the word ‘malarkey’, and tend to use it where appropriate when I can. It’s a bit ‘old school’, and I like words that have fallen out of fashion.

  2. Ooh, Nisa. I’m jealous – I really am. You’re right about British pubs. There are a few still standing around me, but they are mere shadows of their former selves, and quite frankly you’ve got a better chance of winning the National Lottery jackpot now than you have of catching one of those really, really good pub conversations that so often happened pre-ban. Part of the problem was that, often, the most lively and interesting people – the ones who really “drove” those conversations – were the smokers. Whether that’s because interesting, free-thinking people tend to be drawn to smoking (because they don’t believe the hype) or whether it’s because the well-documented positive effects of nicotine on the mind makes them more interesting and free-thinking is probably something that we’ll never know (as no-one will admit it in the first place, and therefore no-one will research it), but it is a fact. And if you ban the most lively and interesting people from a pub (or make it all but impossible for them to initiate or take part in meaningful conversations), all you are left with are the usually perfectly pleasant, but nonetheless small-horizoned and somewhat two-dimensional people who specialise primarily in small-talk and innocent pleasantries – which is fine for about half an hour, but thereafter becomes, to be perfectly candid, a bit boring.

    But hey, if our current crop of insulated, cretinous politicians make the kind of hash over Brexit that all the remainers keep promising they will, then we ourselves might find ourselves necessarily initiating the kind of “austerity measures” that Greece is currently suffering and, if so, then the kind of single-issue vanity projects that politicians have, for the past few decades, been able to indulge themselves in (like smoking bans, ditto the newer anti-alcohol or anti-obesity movements or things like the anti-smacking campaigns) may have to be put aside and our tax cash spend on significantly more important things, as they should be. Which may, ironically, be one of the advantages of Brexit that no-one saw coming. Less State is always a better thing and if those running the State have their hands full – er – running the State, then they simply won’t have time to ride around Westminster on their favourite hobby-horses crowing about what heroes they are because they’ve managed to ban smoking in bus shelters. It almost (but admittedly only almost) makes the WTO “no-deal” option look like a positive outcome!

    • Whether that’s because interesting, free-thinking people tend to be drawn to smoking (because they don’t believe the hype) or whether it’s because the well-documented positive effects of nicotine on the mind makes them more interesting and free-thinking is probably something that we’ll never know…

      Yes, that’s a chicken and egg question that would be interesting to know the answer to. Whichever it is, there’s no doubt that smokers do seem to be more gregarious than non-smokers, and make for much more convivial company. I remember reading a letter to the Daily Telegraph years ago when they were banning smoking on all flights, and the chap said in his letter that he flew regularly on business, and that he always chose the smoking section even though he was a never-smoker, because the people sitting at the back were much friendlier and much more fun.

      Without a shadow of doubt, the smoking ban tore the heart out of British pubs. But the vandals in Tobacco Control don’t care about that. In fact they probably see it as a bonus, because now everyone in the pub is as miserable as they are, and they don’t feel left out any more.

  3. Ah and wonderful George Karelias cigarettes ! How i miss them them. Its almost worth making a new year resolution for 2018 of making a monthly trip to Athens for fresh stocks !

    • Well the flights can be found very cheaply – Easyjet fly a couple of times a day to Athens, I believe. Unfortunately, with the ongoing economic crisis, the tax on tobacco has risen quite a lot (easy target), so you’d probably have to take back a suitcase full to justify the trip.

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