Athens sees return of good old August

At last things have got back to normal. At last we are experiencing the good old August we’ve become accustomed to, because last August was something of a departure from the norm what with the Olympic Games. Last August, hardly anyone took a vacation due to Olympic-related obligations and everything was working to perfection. The streets of Athens were an exemplary sight – free of gridlock and double-parked cars, and public transport was frequent and reliable. This year, those of us who cannot, or choose not to, take our vacations during the most popular holiday month, are experiencing that familiar feeling once again. Most balcony doors have been bolted shut, most telephones go straight to voicemail, while mobile phones seem to be permanently «busy.» However, despite the fact that a large proportion of Athenians have abandoned the capital and are already on vacation, one still needs a good 15 minutes to navigate Ippocratous Street due to solid double parking. One need not even mention Solonos Street. And God help those seeking a parking spot in the districts of Kypseli, Pangrati, Exarchia or Ambelokipi on the weekend. The forest fires and seasonal winds are back. Most of us have promised to water the plants on at least two neighbors’ balconies. The habits and plagues of August are back again…

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