Yesterday evening I was in the car half asleep and BBC Radio 4 was reporting about the “Brussels Lockdown”.
The Paris terrorists from last week were said to have come from Belgium and the Belgian authorities closed down schools, government institutions, metro lines, shopping centres and cinemas. It was the third day in which people lived in anxiety.
In the Grand Place, the main square of Brussels, there were more armed policemen than civilians. At one of the few cafes still open the BBC reporter found three Greek ladies on holiday, smiling and having their morning coffee.
He asked them with a worried tone if they are not afraid. “We can’t live in terror”, they said. “The show must go on.”
I really admire their daring attitude. One could say they are mad but wouldn’t it be worse to live in angst? They were determined not to let the panic ruin their holiday. It was exactly like I remembered Greeks: knowing how to make the most out of the present.
Last summer, I was travelling through Greece when the country was at the peak of its debt crisis. But while the banks were closed and the news predicted a gloomy future, people were singing and dancing Zorba-style in Monastiraki, Athens’ central square, to the delight of the clapping public. Read this article if you want to hear more impressions from my trip in Greece.
And now, let’s watch Zorba dancing the worries away: