All posts tagged: queue

insuring your happiness

RECENTLY I had to go to my neighbourhood Social Security Organization offices to get a certain paper. With my son in my arms, I stepped into the waiting room at 8:30am, fresh-faced and smiling. Within nanoseconds, my jaw dropped and my eyes glazed over as I regarded the massive crowd of people waiting to be served by employees at the four desks. “Oh the numbers have already run out!” a woman told me in a warm, conspiratorial tone. “But it’s only eight thirty am!” I exclaimed. “Oh you need to come here at six am if you want to get one! “Six am?? But it doesn’t open til eight!” “Quarter to eight,” she said, “and if you want to get a ticket you need to queue up from six am to do so. The following day, there I was, me and another 80 or so people, mumbling, sipping coffee, smoking cigarettes, cracking jokes about how advanced our country has become. Some waiting patiently, listening to their music, others already enraged by the experience, others still chatting …

street food: falafellas

IN A country where your fast food options vary between souvlaki, flaky pies slathered in hydrogenated fats and sandwiches you only really crave if it’s 7am and you’ve been up partying all night, it’s nice to finally have another option that is a tad healthier and, by international standards, very tasty – crunchy falafels, tucked into Arabic pitta bread along with other condiments. As is often the case with popular places such as Falafellas in central Athens, where people are willing to queue for a good 15 minutes to grab their bit of local street food, one wonders why it took so long for someone to come up with the idea of making the beloved Middle Eastern food the newest food trend. There have of course been a handful of places serving falafels in the capital, but none of them ever took off as Falafellas did. Perhaps it’s the smart location, just round the corner from the throbbing Aghias Eirinis Square and a stone’s throw away from Monastiraki Square as well as Ermou st, the central shopping high street of …