I would mostly show pictures that I like/love/got interested with, but the start of this blog for 2011 is negative. However, it will give another mental view of Thessaloniki according to one foreigner’s perspective. *peace sign*
The road sign above was found from one of the roads of Filyro. The sticker on it is about PAOK, a Thessaloniki team consisting of basketball, soccer, volleyball and god knows what else – athletic games. Sticking those PAOK stickers on a public property is the work of – a bastard, an idiot, an irresponsible fan – shortly in Greek – an act of a “βλάκας”. Pronounced as “Vla-kas” it is an adjective that means “stupid, idiot, imbecile, bastard, a.s.s-h.o.l.e.
There’s also another term, “μωρέ” (mo-re, for a man) / μωρή (mo-ri, for a woman), or simply call them “Re!”, which is an offensive name calling. In Filipino we have thesame thing: “Gago and Gaga”. You can use these names for your very close friends just for fun.
The intention of these PAOK fans is to get your attention that they exist. Knowing that many of the Greek population are game fanatics, especially with Basketball and Soccer, these team names are written everywhere from walls of an archaeological site to road signs. They think they’re doing something “good” to support their favorite team but honestly, when one who can determine the standard right or wrong concept or just use a simplest “logic”, would they vandalize public properties just because they feel like doing so?
I think that the #1 discomfort that it brings to the people is practically related to DRIVING. Road signs are there to help drivers avoid road accidents. The whole Thessaloniki is covered with these PAOK stickers if not sprayed, that they would even cover the overall speed limit sign. What concerns me most is that they even spray the road signs going to Filyro, Asvestochori, Khortiatis, and farther mountainside area. Going to these residential areas will have you take long and windy roads. Just a few months ago, road signs that lit up during night-time has been replaced because they were sprayed with black ink. And just last November, I saw them being sprayed with black ink – again. If you’re not familiar with the road there, then you can be in trouble. Not all parts of the main mountain roads have fences. It is not only your life that at risk but also the livelihood of others. The house and rental prices of the houses/flats in the area, as where we live, is less expensive. Road accidents put fear to those who wants to leave the city area and live farther up.
But of course the accidents are not to be blamed only to the ‘unreadable’ road signs or non-block cliffs, but also to the drivers that think they’re in a rally road. You can see a lot of those mini churches lit with candles which meant someone survived the accident. These could be avoided with proper driving, proper road signs and infrastructures, and well-maintained roads.
After all my whining and blahs above: I thought that maybe the athletes of PAOK could help stop vandalism in Thessaloniki by appearing to the media and encourage their fans not to vandalize public properties. The government authorities and the people in their respective area should also be vigilant in looking out for these fanatic vandals. They do not only cause road accidents but also make a community look dirty and disrespectful.
P.S. Pardon for the many “rude” words since I can’t help not to use them more than usual… but please refrain from using these words at unnecessary events. ^_^