Thursday 28 July 2011

Dogs Day

I was posting the other day the short encounter I had with
a German woman who was strolling with her poodle. "Paula, don't
stop on the middle of the road. Go, move futher," she was telling
her curly-haired white poodle. Actually, it was an encounter
with her poodle and not with her as Paula refused to move
and kept on staring back at me...on the middle of the road.
Good there was not much traffic that day. Most probably all gone
to get tanned and escape the German winter this summer.
A day later, (see the photo above)in a neighboring Dutch
village, I met this friendly woman with her flock of Shih Tzu
and other equally "fierce" looking puppies. She agreed to my
shooting her dogs, digital that is, and the puppies showed more
cooperation, stopped and stared back at me.
What could she be telling them later after I said thank you
and praised her flock? "Now, don't be too friendly to
strangers, little puppies. She might post you and you don't
get your royalties."
This is by the way, the day when the Philippine AZKALs,
strayed dogs lost to the national team of Kuwait.
A dog day afternoon.

Friday 22 July 2011

Shopping in Germany

Sure you know that brand. It starts with B. Sandals or clogs,
good for your feet, good for your health, damageproof. For many
years, they have been identified as "official" footwear of German
developmental workers;alternative, sturdy, practical. Worn with socks,
they made a good piece of conversation among the onlookers but
that's another story.
I don't want to give shoes as gifts so I'm buying someone
a pair or two as she claims she couldn't walk comfortably with
other brand of shoes. I tried some pairs and I felt like
I'm a personified Donald Duck...too wide, too long and
felt like I couldn't control my direction. But I have to get
the ordered shoes.
Price ranges from 39.95 to 89.95 depending on the style.
I was so busy looking for the sizes that I didn't see
that they were not all really Made in Germany even if the store
logo says Made in Germany, Tradition since 1774. I realized it
only when I was trying them again at home and read the labels.
Made in Spain, licensed by B. One pair has the label B, Made in
Germany which I got on summer sale for only 24.95Euro It used to
cost 49Euro. Will they get cheaper in winter, I wouldn't know.
The cheapest stuff, pink slippers are Made in
China for 9.99. Very light, a must if you're using public showers
for the holidays. Needless to say, not when you're going to
China. Such stuffs are freebies, you could bring them home
as souvenirs.
The next door leads to an outlet of another German brand; no, not
the one with the monkey which guarantees jobs for Germany.
Posh, too. But I won't say the brand. I didn't get my size.
Besides, how would a personified Donald Duck or Daisy
look like with that designer's suit walking with B'stock?

Thursday 21 July 2011

Cross-posting: Pin@ys in Greece

I got this posting in another site...well in Facebook actually.
I would like to share it with you. Thanks Margie.
Posted by Kasapi Hellas
Dear Mr Theodorakis,
When will the lack of awareness end?
I’m sure you consider my question to be impertinent, but I’m actually being quite polite when you consider the feelings that are not being expressed. What I really want to say is that your statement in Naoussa on June 27th when you claimed that Greece had become the “Filipineza” of the troϊka and the IMF is thoughtless, hurtful and racist. I also know that to continue expressing my feelings in this way would be both useless and damaging.
I don’t want to make things worse. My aim is not to insult or to stand as your judge, but to attempt to make you understand what you have actually said. I would like to give you the opportunity to see how hurtful and unjust your statement is. I’d like you and others like you to realize that Greece cannot move forward by trampling on others. Filipinos are a just people. They are your allies and stand in solidarity with Greeks in the hope of finding common solutions. They deserve and it is their right to be treated better.
The truth is that you are a good man. I know you have worked all your life for justice and the good of your people in the best way you knew how. You have bravely spoken out with integrity in times when the risk to your own freedom was high. You have been a freedom fighter as an individual, as a musician and as a politician giving courage, hope and inspiration to people around the world. Your personal story is more than impressive.
And yet you have no awareness whatsoever of the racist attitudes that you are reinforcing while attempting to speak for your own people. Why should a floundering nation of Greeks be compared to Filipinas? How can you callously categorize Philippine women in a way that ignores their individuality, their intelligence, their strengths and their charms? How can you use hard-working and courageous people as a symbol of everything that you find humiliating, a symbol of servitude?
Is your hurt as a Greek so deep that you cannot see that you are being oppressive towards people who themselves have been badly used by both the Greek and the global economy. Just the fact that you choose Filipinas to show your indignation means that you know something of the injustices that these people face. This does not give you the right to humiliate them in trying to express your own humiliation in the face of the measures being forced on Greece during the current economic situation.
I know Greek people use the word “Filipina” as a catchall term for a domestic worker, but that doesn’t make it right. Babiniotis, who compiled the well-known and very comprehensive dictionary for the Modern Greek language, distanced himself from all responsibility for the entry “Filipineza” by stating that he was merely recording the common usage given to the word by the Greek people themselves. He rightly claimed that he was not responsible for giving words their meaning. However, while defending himself, he obviously felt no obligation to attempt to right the wrong that has grown within the Greek language that he claims to love so well.
Surely, Mr Theodoraki, you remember that no one is free until everyone is free. Surely, men like you and Babiniotis, who have the attention and respect of so many millions of people, can use that attention to influence positive change rather than adding to the injustices.
Think about what you have said. Think about your indignation at what is happening in Greece and then think about the indignation of the Filipino people and how they have been used over the years. If it weren’t for globalization, you might never have met a Filipina in your life. Filipinas do not want to leave their families or their country to come and work in your homes. The global economy forces them to do so. However, regardless of the necessity, they come with their dignity intact, knowing who they are and how to cope with every situation.
Greece would be lucky indeed to be able to truthfully compare itself to these people who have migrated from the Philippines in search of a better life. Their search has always added greatly to the richness of every country they enter!
Margie Doyle Papadopoulou

Friday 8 July 2011

TGIF! Marketing on Friday

This is not an ad for any product nor study on the current prices
of groceries. I just took an hour or so from my paper works to fetch
from our Friday market what I've been wanting to eat since the other
day. I have been craving for cherries for days but won't give in
to the temptation and buy from the regular fruit store selling
imported huge, round cherries for 11.90Euro a kilo.
While waiting for my turn in this long line of faithful
"Suki" buyers of this most patronized fruits and veggies
stand in this Friday market,I could enjoy hearing the small
talks of the locals: Greetings, "Guten Tag", "He has a stroke and
now in hospital," "She has amaurosis," (I tried hard to remember
the word so I could google it later but I could also have misheard
what the woman has said.),"Korea, that country is poor, isn't it?"
(They were talking about the latest news on the doping case of two
North Korean football players in the Women's World Cup games
happening currently in Germany.), etc, etc, etc. Wish I could tape
all the talks while waiting to get my cherries.
For the purchase of blackberries, strawberries and a kilo
of cherries (see photo above), I paid only 7.40Euro. TGIF! It was
worth waiting for Friday marketing.