We are animals at the end of the day so we have a primitive side that contains raw passion, lust and desire. We express this in many ways but the most socially acceptable has to be dance. Over the years the forms it has taken has evolved with each generation decrying the loosening of moral values over the increasingly explicit nature that the moves of the current dance craze contains. There was an interesting episode of Glee all about this when everyone was up in arms about Miley Cyprus twerking. Spanish dances are passionate as are Brazilian and black Caribbean dances are raunchy. Let’s not forget Moulin Rouge though. When it comes to Britain we are a civilised bunch that invented the tea dance and it was arousing to see a lady’s ankles. You see a lot more walking round today. However you can go over the top and I remember reading a Brave New World and the main character falls in love so is reading about Shakespeare etc and she is from a place where sex is just a form of exercise to be encouraged on a daily basis and all their clothes had zips on to encourage this. It wasn’t special so he was rather disheartened by the whole culture clash. So we have to be careful that although women no longer need escorts to meet guys there not related to, that we treat people with respect as sex is a gift that is needed for happiness but it’s not a right that you must have sex with everybody just because you can.
Sometimes in your life you need to disconnect yourself from the screens be they television, telephone, tablet or computer and just talk about life the universe and everything. Food, drink, sunny weather even card games help you to open up and regain your humanity as we’re always humans doing or going not being as the Simpson joke goes. It’s healthy for relationships to just focus on why your with them, that’s why holidays are so good but they are not reality. Breaks at weekends allows issues to be aired and resolved because otherwise tensions will rise leading to anger and that could be very messy. Human relationships are strange especially monogamous ones as some would say there against our nature. There not easy to maintain but having these little recharge points makes it all worthwhile. Communication is the key but finding the right time and having opportunities are quite difficult at times. Too much time together is as bad as not enough time. You need shared as well as individual interests so that you have things to talk about. You need a rich social and work life to feel fulfilled. However committing to too much is bad as too little it’s all about modulation which is easier said than done especially if you work in a seasonal industry or have more than one job. Nourishing our emotional, romantic sides is a very important aspect that we all too frequently neglect. If your spiritual/religious you may even call it looking after your soul. Life is fleeting so we need to grab it with both hands and may a little less corporate and more spontaneous. You won’t regret the experiences or the money spent but you will regret it if you don’t do it. So live a little and stop waiting for this, that and the other.
There are lots of things in life that you just have to learn by doing like riding a bike or swimming and then there are the things you can be taught like maths and languages. What you can’t learn is emotions, thoughts and feelings. They just happen, it’s like falling in love, totally unexpected and it happens when your not looking for it. They can be brilliant or very bad but we have to accept them for what they are. Learning to love ourselves for who we are can take a long time. We quite frequently deny our very being in pursuit of money as we think that will make us happy. It will not, being true to ourselves will. We need to nourish our friendships, relationships and experience all that we are. There is no point in denying ourselves what we want as it will only make us sad. Only problem comes when we examine what it is we want and why we want it. If it is to impress somebody else then that is not a good enough reason. Love is the best feeling in the world and if your like me it was the happiest day of your life where you were so happy you cried. However the years pass and you forget until something makes you remember why you started down that road in the first place. As Trinity said to Neo you know where that road goes. So keep loving your partners and change with them as you change. Sometimes friends, books, the net helps, other times its a holiday. Whatever it takes you need to restrengthen those bonds. You believed you could take on the world together before so rediscover and continue.
I have various things going through my mind at any one time. Currently it’s Ellie Goulding – I Need your Love. She is a really talented girl that I have actually met so I think that is super cool. I also like Burn, Explosions and Anything Can Happen as it makes me think of spontaneity which is certainly the watch word when your bro in law comes to town. Taylor Swift’s Blank Cheque is another and I have been encouraged to be more like him this year but you can only go so far as I’m married unlike himself. Other things that have been circling are Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams as I do like my sleep. Everybody loves this song and it has been done so many times by Soft Cell, Marilyn Manson etc. I also like dance tunes as there good for making you happy and I really like dancing. It feels like freedom and an escape from the world if only for a little while. I don’t need alcohol there although it is usually present. I like eurovision songs too like Heroes the winning song of this year as too often I am dancing with Demons In My Head. I guess that’s a penalty of being highly intelligent, anxious and having Aspergers Syndrome. The Serbian song Beauty Never Lies affected me quite a lot as it’s about being different which I certainly am. The Israeli song Golden Boy is quite catchy and I really like the Belgium entry Rythm Inside too. The Moldovan one called I Want Your Love is also brilliant. Last year’s winner was also wonderful Conchita and Rise like a Phoenix. My favourite past Eurovision song is Fairytale by Alexander Rybak.
You may feel this is again a strange topic to write about as we all have emotions all of the time and we can’t stop them but when you have Aspergers that is precisely what you want to do. You want to be master of your life, you don’t want outside forces like hormones and emotions to make decisions for you. We like logic as that is predictable and can be analysed. There is right and wrong there where as in the wider world there is a lot more levels in between. It’s a bit like when vulcans go on pon Farr. For those that don’t know it’s when vulcans mate. They become very aroused and this is when there children are born. This desire can’t be ignored so if no suitable mate is around they have to travel home. Luckily for them this only happens once every 7 years but this does go some way to explaining why people with Aspergers struggle with intimacy. It’s not something you can learn out of a textbook and default responses don’t work here, it’s dynamic. We would also like to deny our animal impulses and we are very good at repressing emotions but that hurts so very much. We are scared of being open and vulnerable as people usually take advantage hence our general guarded nature. Emotions and hormones are however what make us human and as the car advert says, “without them we would be mere machines”. So help us in our journey to becoming fully rounded people as although you think that everybody understands all emotional states intuitively, we do not. We need help with controlling the flow as we would like it to be constant not absent or too much. Plus there is such a range from happiness to sadness, anger, jelousy, apprehension, guilt, excitement … that we are not always sure what we are feeling or whether it is appropriate for that point in time. It takes a long time to figure out why certain things make us feel the way we do so our love is different to normal but no less special. We have a different view point on the world and as long as you can respect that it is fine.
This island is what I’m sure the UK was like many years ago as it still has a rich history and a sense of community. They seek to engage all of the senses with there customs like when your drinking and you say yamas! Which means cheers or you could say yamas egias! which is health and happiness, peace and prosperity, family and friends. You have to go round and clink everyone’s glasses which in a large party can take a minute. The clinking represents the sound, your touching the glass, seeing the bubbles in the champagne and hearing them pop. Thanks pauline for this insight. Also another interesting feature is that they celebrate easter more than Christmas as it has more meaning to them and is less commercialized. I haven’t been over for a Greek easter as it’s too early in the year and the airport isn’t open but I think they do quite an authentic reproduction in my big fat greek wedding. They tend to celebrate there name day more than there birthday which is the saint day for there name. This can be quite a long way from there actual birthday or quite close. This is more rooted in the church than current commercial celebrations. I think the feast on joffreys name day in game of thrones is an elaborate depiction of what it could look like. One more is festivals like fanorimeni which is the gypsy market held everything year to celebrate whitsun tide in the Christian calendar. Older people will remember that the calendar used to quite strongly feature this religious festivals but younger people like myself haven’t a clue when they are.
England on the other hand has quaint customs like cheese rolling, morris and maypole dancing, blacking up days, carnivals and the village fayre. We may have done some of these at primary school like the Greeks learn there traditional dance, when may never have done most of these things before and may not even be aware of anywhere that practices them.
In lefkas everybody tends to know everything so you can’t get away with things unless everyone is doing it a bit like the blatant disregard of the no smoking rule that should be in force everywhere.
In the UK it’s quite difficult to solve crimes as nobody knows anything hence the place is so heavily covered with cctv. We need street sweepers to pick up litter, chewing gum and fag butt’s.
They both have homeless though and they are militant in greece if they want your money. Thing is there gypsy or black from athens selling all kinds of illegal items like sunglasses, watches, dvds etc. You get them all over Europe but usually only in the more touristy areas or the supermarket car parks.
The last major difference is that the week starts on Sunday not Monday which is reflected in the names they give to the days of the week. Kri-ri-a-key which comes from one, deftera which is 2, triti which is the trinity and 3, tertarti which you can see is tetris and 4, pempti which is 5, paraskivi and finally sabbato which to them I guess is a bit like the sabbath as it’s the last day of the week so I guess the sabbath. Thank you Colleen for this insight.
Weddings are most Saturdays with christenings Sundays showing the importance that family holds for them. Each family usually gives money to the married couple rather than gifts so that they can buy what they need as the house will generally have been built for them before hand hence all the half finished buildings everywhere due to the planning laws. Sometimes cars are presents on learning to drive. Births are greeted with a special trunk as are weddings. As wedding gifts sometimes you get little gifts like boubonyires which could be sugared alomds, a crown or other type of brooch. One for girls and one for boys. This was another custom pauline introduced me to at my own wedding.
Death in lefkas is also shown differently, the body is buried within 24 hours but then they have lots of memorials at different points of the year to mark there passing 8, 40 and 1 year. I learnt this when the chef of our favourite restaurant had to bury his father. Greek widows always seem to wear black too and it’s a rarity to see one wearing any colour apart from black.
Raising children is very European like the daily greeting of a hug and a kiss on each cheek. Births are quite surreal and seem to be the the only thing that is done against nature as women are given a due date and they go to the hospital on that day and they are told when they will give birth and they do with the help of inducement and cesereans. Women’s hormones are not aligned with the working day as most kids in the uk are born in the evening, night or early morming. I guess this prevents very long labour’s as sometimes women in the UK can be overdue and take a week to get baby out as there too comfortable in there.
England seems to have lost its identity as it has so many cultures, costumes and languages present. There is no form of social cohesion. Nobody knows what it is to be British anymore past looking in a museum which is strangely a thing I never do in lefkas. I also don’t drink that much as it’s not the culture even though the schooling is not as good and there is a lot of corruption present in politics (when isn’t there).
Some interesting thoughts have just strolled into my head while reading the abstract of adultery by Paulo Coehlo on amazon. Human beings need to be stimulated both physically and mentally otherwise they get wanderlust and start looking elsewhere. Routine is ok up to a point. Happiness is a drug that needs to be topped up with novelty and new events otherwise it diminishes. This is why in the Matrix although we would all like to live in a perfect world we wouldn’t be satisfied by it. We need to work otherwise we crumble as evidenced by the Island movie as well. Its people that are busy, have ambition and constant drive that achieve the most. If on the other hand you’re a dreamer like me who comes up with lots of ideas, thoughts and feelings but nothing concrete, it becomes a lot more difficult especially as today your self worth is described by your employment status. This is another thing I have issues with as I seem to lack identity in the normal sense, I just have what I create for myself. A wife, a lover, a friend and you could say an aunt or cousin although I don’t see my family much for one reason or another.