The Other Kalamata? 


As a city with a metropolitan area of almost 100 000 people, Kalamata is best known for its cafés,  night life,  beaches,  boutiques,  and tourism. It is also known for a quaint yet nice Mardi Gras costume celebration and its amazing olives  (which don’t represent the city,  but the area and beyond ) . I was hard pressed to find an olive tree in the city. Or maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough. I wanted to take pics of places that didn’t make it stick out. I wanted to show a sort of social movement or some kind of progressive  (God forbid,  revolutionary ) creativity.  I wanted to show that my favourite city in the world is more than a microcosm of progressive right wing conservatism,  albeit with a progressive air. 
Almost everything around the main square was trendy. Please look at my 3 articles on Kalamata from last summer to get a better picture. The cafés were top notch. The boutiques had the latest European fashion. And we were in a perfume shop looking for a special fragrance for a lady who looked the part.  The women who worked the cash were good looking in a continuum between big city girls and traditional semi -rural ones. The ones at the cash were less than 30 while the 3 on the floor were in their 30s or 40s.  The older ones wore too much makeup and looked as if they had gone under the knife at least once. They were helping out well -to -do Greek semi -urban middle class married women who wanted something new. Someone to break their monotony.  These women probably lived in the houses on the hill with private pathways to entry.  Suffice it to say, I wantedto get out of there before the heat set in. 

There we go. Anarchist graffiti amongst the cafés and shops. I got memories of visiting here in my hedonistic youth,  before things were so tidy. It wasn’t as fun a memory as I’d been hoping for, but these moments of déjà vu are always special.  

Going into a small side street I saw a few strange looking businesses that I guessed were bars. This one, translated as “hell”, may have been some grunge place or just a wrongly -named techno club. Again, it looked promising. 

This is a market run by someone with an accent when they spoke Greek.  And the prices were low. The produce looked subpar. I didn’t shop there. I went to an organic place about 5 minutes away.  My health is tantamount,  after all. I went all out and got organic pizza for lunch. It was very good. 

We went to buy shoes. Then we went to church. I was enjoying seeing the  “normal” places. I may be too old. Maybe I’m no longer an idealist. Maybe I’ve learned to settle. I no longer wanted to search for slums.  I wanted to practice being a citizen instead of a hedonistic tourist. This would be a beautiful place to settle in. And there beautiful 2nd floor apartments with 2 bedrooms between €50 and  €80 thousand. Right by the main square. The ones near or across from the beach were smaller and double the price. But I like waking up and crossing the street for a coffee with my computer and working from a café to start off the day. Besides, there’s the Instagram star that I couldn’t let distract me at the beach when I’m trying to work. Knowing me as Mr Kouretas was enough. 

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