Visiting Street 03

Those few of the first 900 inhabitants who have settled in the Olympic Village were reluctant to talk to journalists, probably because they were fed up with the publicity of the last few days. They might not have wanted us to make a bad start to a new life by prompting criticism and sensationalism. Or they may view getting a house through the draw as an unexpected blessing. Satisfaction The first family to have their house delivered to them refused to express an opinion. However, Dina, who lives with her two children in house No. 216, was willing to show us around. «Put your hand under the tap. Count to five. Look, hot water. It’s natural gas.» No, you can’t smoke in the house. She wants to take care of it. In the opposite apartment, Yiannis’s four-member family is being given information about the house he will get in a short while. His children, both in junior high school, who had been told that the minister was coming to inspect the flat, were eager to leave. «We don’t want to be shown on the telly,» they said. Yiannis decided to wait for the minister. He lives in Neos Cosmos and works for a courier despatch company. «Does it bother you to be living so far from the center of Athens?» we asked. «Why should it? I’ve been everywhere in Athens.» The house is 80 square meters, valued at 70,000 euros and the monthly loan payment is 254 euros. He declared he was satisfied. Anastassia, one of the first residents here, insists that the Olympic Village must become a municipality. «Why should we go to Menidi Municipality? Did anyone ask us if we wanted to? We should decide,» she said and added that some were collecting signatures for the creation of an association. Schools closed Most of those who have acquired keys to their new apartments are waiting for the end of the academic year before they move. «The biggest problem is that the schools are not operating and the cramming schools are far away,» said Aristos, whose daughter will start university entrance preparation next year. The minister arrives with his escort. Suddenly there is movement in the silent landscape. He looks at the worn marble, criticizes the shortages and insists that Hadrian’s Aqueduct, which was in operation until 1945, must be showcased.