Greek to MePosted on
What’s it like to be living in an economy, and a country, that is imploding? That’s what I tried to get at in my story about life in Greece in this week’s New York Times Magazine. We have had endless reporting of the Troika and the dysfunctional Greek political elites. I was after another kind of reality. Like the banker who told me a customer had come in that day and handed over cash to be deposited: a block of bank notes that were frozen together, from having been kept in his freezer. Or the construction foreman who sat in his living room, surrounded by family, and described how the company he had been laid off from has had its payroll cut from 900 employees to 2. But most surprising are stories of weird hopefulness: a winery and an herb business that have taken off in the very midst of the crisis. The suicide rate in Greece shot up by 40% in the first half of 2011. At the same time, the main feeling Greeks expressed to me was relief: relief that the weird fantasy/nightmare of their eurozone experience to this point is over at last.