Sunday, December 9, 2012

Omonia: Attacked and Robbed, Athens,Greece, Dec.8, 6;30 pm, 2012

I am staying in a hotel in Central Athens. I can see the Acropolis when I walk around the corner. I went out tonight looking for somewhere to eat at about 6 pm. I saw one young man in his 20's look at me then go back in the cafe and call to his friend. Next thing I knew I was hunted.
I hurried up and then cut back crossing a street so I almost was hit by a motorcycle. What I hadn't realized was how large the pack was. It was a pack. Spread out like a net, organized.  One young man ran into me as I was turning from another. He tore the gold cross from around my neck. Then another of the pack was at me grabbing for the dangling chain. I swung a fist at a third fellow coming in, shouting as I did. They ran off together, some 8 or 10 of them, looking at what the fellow had grabbed. It was my gold cross that I've had over a dozen years. Naturally it has Spiritual, Christian and sentimental value. It's rarely off my neck and it's been in all kinds of poor and dangerous places in the world. Yet here was this 'nest', a concerted group, working as a team, descending on me like a lone deer or rabbit. I screamed "Police! Police! Police". The people on the street  just stood  and watched. There were dozens on the street all of who probably knew who these young men were. Shopowners and cafe owners. These darker skinned guys were wild and unafraid, arrogant and above the law, obviously willing to piss on all of Athens.
I was unarmed. I usually have a whistle and a knife but I wasn't thinking. I was in downtown Athens in the heart of the tourist district. People warned me not to go to Greece. Everyone said it was unsafe for tourists. I didn't believe them. The Neuroscience Conference I'd attended was by Evangelismos Metro station. I walked about the district of theBest Western Ilasia  and  Hilton there without a concern at night.
Back at the hotel I told the manager. He asked if I wanted to call the police. I said no. I was just sad to lose my cross. Gold being what it is today, gold crosses are probably at a premium. I had to think it was a Moslem or an Aetheist. I didn't believe a Christian, Orthodox or Catholic would steal a cross but then there are always those who steal from the church. There are those who steal from doctors too. And those who steal from old ladies and children. Thieves are without God, cursed.He asked if I had lost credit cards.
I said no but that I'd lost a cross and that it was very dear to me. I have other crosses. I just bought a Greek Orthodox silver cross at the Monastery of St. Stevens in Metora. There the gentle people moved up into the high rocks to get away from marauding, pillaging thieves. Herds of human evil roamed through the land then. In the aftermath of this personal attack I feel they're on the rise again today.
The kind and considerate hotel night manager told me he'd recommend no jewelry, no fine things, and that I should only go in the central square at night. In the day time it's safe but at night none of the streets are now safe except the main thorough fares. As usual hindsight is 20/20. There certainly aren't any signs saying turn right not left but I did sense I was in a less safe block. More young men. No women. That was the cue. I'd had my eyes open too but was at a main intersection surrounded by cafe's in an obvious tourist district when they attacked. As the manager said, "It could happen to anyone. They roam in packs,now." Cowards always have. Chimpanzees behave like this. I noticed earlier in the day that the police were walking more often as four than two or three.
Mid after noon uptown I came across a half dozen men shooting up with needles right out in the open on a main thoroughfare.  So they have all the problems of Vancouver's downtown east side drug problem with the theft that goes with it only there's no such demarcation. No area is safe and likely that is becoming true for Vancouver. Cities are devolving as police are expected to do everything but address crime. Probably the case is the same here.
I ran at least 4 or 5 blocks, and eventually caught a taxi, now lost. I was anxious when the taxi driver left the well lit main street and took me down a side street en route to the hotel For a moment I panicked and worried the taxi driver was somehow one of them.
Now I've come back to my room and thought of changing hotels. Maybe in the morning I'll leave. I would like to go home tonight. I no longer feel safe in Athens. The honeymoon is over. I see every group of Greek  men as uncivilized thieves and rodents. Standing with a pack of humans closing, with blood lust in their eyes on all sides, swirling defending myself, looking for an opening to escape, I missed the days of rapiers but mostly I wanted a much more sizeable weapon and the right to kill in self defence.  The words, "if I had a rocket launcher," from a well known Canadian song, came to mind
Of course there are always those who say:1) Don't leave home.2) Don't go out at night3) Don't go to Greece4) Don't go to Athens5) Don't wear gold crosses.6) Don't wear any jewelry7) Don't dress well8) Don't go to foreign cities.9) Hide under the sheets10) Don't ever leave your room, not even to pee.
 At that moment I thought they were all right.

I imagine a woman would have been more mauled, perhaps gang raped on the street. I'm a big guy and I'm still apparently frightening when aroused. They clearly were intent on stripping me of my over the shoulder bag, maybe even mauling me for the money belt I was wearing. The aim of a swarming is to get the victim down and off his feet.  Then you can kick him in the head as a group and strip him.   I know if I hadn't struck the third fellow coming in for the chain, begun cursing and swirling I'd have suffered a worse fate. But I'm 60. That's old. I did run 4 or 5 blocks at a very fast clip.

And don't tell me thieves are all created by poverty. Thieves are more likely animals who haven't been house trained by their mothers. They use any excuse to justify their evil. Victor Frankl survived Auschwitz to write "Man's Search for Meaning'. This man who attacked me was healthy and fit, envious, greedy and dirty minded in heart and soul. I looked into the feral eyes of these men who were no longer human. I'd guess narcissistic entitlement, sociopath or psychopaths are more fitting words to "understand" their situation.

I'm actually just thankful I got away uninjured. i have lost only a cross and had a gold chain broken. Ganesh Nanda's Jewellers in Vancouver will repair this. Ganesh himself was robbed at gun point in his jewelry shop in Vancouver. My pride is injured and I'm ripe with resentment and just a little afraid. Thank you Lord for getting me home safe.
Having the day before visited the Meteora Monasteries founded as a place of safety from the marauding packs and thieves of the 15th Century I feel I'm having my own 21st century little personal Meteora experience .

The question is where are the high rocks to hide from the marauders and thieves today. Where would one place a monastery today to get above the thieves?

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