In Israel, there is always a war. But this attack on Gaza has shocked the world. At least 100 Palestinians are dead. Another 700 are wounded. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Nethanyu said he was pleased with the progress, but this is just a stage in the fighting. They are preparing troops along the border and have brought in 20,000 reserve troops to prepare for a ground assault. Like many people around the world, I wish for peace, but I think it’s more likely that we discover life on other planets than that there will be peace in the Middle East in my lifetime.
To distract people from the news of Israel, there is the World Cup between Germany and Argentina which most people are going to be watching Sunday night. The defeat of Brazil was of course, shocking, but still soccer fans are excited to see this game. Americans are getting more and more excited about soccer too. Once American athletes get up to the level of South American players, we’ll start to get even more involved.
As usual, Athens in Syntagma Square is crowded with police and riot police buses. There are police everywhere in Kevlar and large riot shields and with semi-automatic weapons. Much of the city is covered with graffiti.
The coffee here is good though. Cold or hot, it’s good. We like to walk around Athens especially at night. When you walk around the Acropolis, there are many street performers and a lot of them are Americans. It’s kind of odd but there are these African American street dancers who can do some great stuff and there are a lot of musicians and various performers doing gymnastics. It’s like a European version of Venice Beach. The sorbet is excellent. I had this blood orange sorbet which was great.
For breakfast at our hotel, they give us good coffee, some sort of drink that dreams of being Tang but Tang is too good for it, three different kinds of bread, jam, and yoghurt. Also hard boiled eggs. It’s fine and you eat this on the balcony overlooking lots of people’s laundry up to dry over their houses and towering over all this graffiti, power lines, and clean underwear is the remains of the Acropolis and the cranes and scaffolding that have been there for decades. It’s still very impressive.
Here’s to the completion of the restoration of the Parthenon.
Here’s to the recovery of the Greek economy.
Here’s to an end to the fighting in Gaza.
Here’s to world peace.
And here’s to bagels, sushi and Mexican food when I get back to Los Angeles next week.