Modern Praise. An interview of detective Plekasis Nikos Pelekasi to the newspaper “Pontiaki Gnomi”.
We’ve all met them, driving in traffic, on public transport or possibly sipping our Sunday coffee in the sunshine. I am referring to the beggars.
People who are predominantly foreign, often not able-bodied, of all ages, badly dressed and unkempt.
Most of us pretended not to see them and waited for the traffic light to turn green, or to get off at the next stop, or waving our hand negatively as we continued our coffee.
Lately something has changed and no one can pretend not to see.
Glancing around us, we can see people clean, neat, of all ages, often now Greeks, selling their wares: tissues, pens, lighters, asking for our help because they are unemployed, often homeless, or trying to supplement their meager income.
We can now refer to a different kind of begging.
People next door go out into the street modestly and quietly asking for a solution to their problem.
Some time ago, in the southern suburbs, I met Grandpa S…. Age “93”!!!!
Every morning, consistent with our appointment at the traffic light, clean, with his white shirt, always well-tied, wearing his red cap, he gives me a broad smile wishing me “health and joy”.
He works, he told me, to help his children and grandchildren because his pension is not enough. He is a large family man and some of his children and grandchildren are unemployed.
The light is on. I raise the window and leave. Through the mirror I see Grandpa waving his hand smiling, representing “the honored old age” of my country.
As for the “proud youths”, one can often meet them on transport or in cafes and buy pens or other trinkets at a good price, unable to look them in the eye out of shame!
Shame because we older people, consciously or unconsciously, because we were comfortable, turned a blind eye to wrong practices and situations, some of which we found and others we created, unaware of the consequences.
Pontiaki Gnomi Newspaper
Sheet number 60
By Nikos Pelekasis