Friday, 15 November 2013

Boys will be boys whatever their age.

My affectionate name for a Kafeneion is 'the Old Gits Club'. It’s lovely to see the older men spending time relaxing with their mates, playing Tavli and drinking coffee and rhythmically swinging their komboloi. It’s also noticeable just how many young men take part in this ritual as you walk up and down the little streets in Kefalos, although coffee might not be their preferred drink. The men pass the time of day in age old tradition and the only sign of the 21st Century is their clothing and the mobile phone.

As I sit and watch this ancient ritual play out before me, Papous in the Kafeneion on the left and young men in the bar on the right, I notice a constant stream of young boys greeting their Grandfathers with hugs and affectionate kisses. Up above me the fierce sound of competition and battle rages as these youngsters play World of War Craft or Black Ops 2 in the internet cafĂ©. Shouting out tactics or successes across the room to each other. For just a few euros they can be kept amused for hours, get a healthy snack downstairs from Manolis and Polexeni and when the money runs out over they trot to the bank of Papou ‘agape mou’. 21st Century meets Old Greece. Who knows what the future holds for the next generation of Greek men finding the time to relax and play?
Sadly the 21st Century has already caught up already and most boys now have these toys at home. It was a great idea while it lasted but peace has returned and I can still sit here and enjoy the view, the food and the friendly conversation with anyone who has the time.