There is a reason why we go to the beach; well probably there are a number of reasons, including to relax, run around semi-naked and 'society' accepting it as normal, feel the warmth of the sun on us etc etc.
Living in Greece, in Athens, these days does not come with a great number of benefits. Work prospects seem dismal, there is very little money floating about and most people seem depressed! BUT for most of us, the beach is not more than 40 minutes away, wherever we live. And the options are practically endless, but unfortunately so are the people. Last Sunday was particularly potent beach-going experience, as we went to visit a friend staying at a 'resort-like' suburb, we arrived at the beach to face an onslaught of everything! I have not seen so many people gathered in one place since the last concert I went to. This was not the beach, this was more like a movie set and all of us were actors in a very very strange production. It was by no means relaxing, people were actually fighting over places in the shade, places in the sun, chairs, showers and generally there was football-game-like tension.
Does this make for a relaxing Sunday morning? Probably not! On the way back after a very very short stay, I realised that the beach is a symbol we hold sacred, pretty much like the flag. "We went to the beach" is somehow a rebelious statement; we dare go to the beach and frolic in spite of the problems, the issues, the unemployment and the uncertainty. And obviously no matter what, because I cannot believe that aaaaaaaall these peole were having a good time. I certainly wasn't.
So the beach is the revolution... the one place were we can all feel equal no matter how much each one of us has spent on beach accessories. When in the water it does not make much of a difference.
I woke up Monday morning with the image of the rebelious Athenians at the beach, stuck in the traffic getting there, stuck in traffic getting back. And I felt almost proud; because resistance was not futile and people were making an effort. I smiled and then I remembered that a topless 6o-year old woman was trying to make conversation with my 3-year old son while he was trying to ascertain what to make of her. That's the beach... that's the revolution....