What are they thinking?

Cyprus Mail reports that Cyprus Airways expands its operations in Greece:

“After the positive response from the Athens-Thessalonica-Athens route, the airline decided to start new regular flights to the country’s most important airports,” CY announced yesterday.

Starting on October 28, there will be twice-daily flights between Athens and Heraklion, one from Athens to Rhodes and back; one a day between Heraklion and Thessalonica and another between Rhodes and Thessalonica three times a week.

My first reaction after reading this is – what are they thinking?  Cyprus Airways has been in a lot of financial troubles lately, getting lots of help from the Cyprus government, including the kick out of the competition – Ryanair (here and here).  But at least Ryanair was working with Cyprus, bringing lots of people in and out.  What does Cyprus Airways do?  Yeah, right, instead of trying to help the Cyprus tourism a bit, they go to Greece.  Which, given Greece’s troubles, is questionable as well.  What’s the point of having Cyprus Airways in Cyprus at all then?  And why does the government spend the money on them.  Let them go to the other side of the world, if they want to, and help Australia’s tourism, or something…

Greek police is available for rent

There are many signs of a country’s economy in trouble, but I think this one is the most obvious one – renting out the services of police officers and their equipment to private citizens.  And that’s exactly what Greece is doing now, according to PolicyMic, which is quoting a Greek newspaper Proto Thema.

As reported by the newspaper Proto Thema, for only 30 euros an hour, Greek citizens could now use police officers as personal bodyguards. For 10 more euros they can get a patrol car and for an amount of 200 and 1500 euros per hour respectively, they can have patrol boats or police helicopters. The minister, nevertheless, warned that the services offered will be limited to legal activities only.

It would be hilarious, if it wasn’t so sad…


We have a little tradition in the office where I work now.  We call the last working day of the week – Friday.  It doesn’t really matter which day of the week it is really. If there are some public holidays ahead, then, even Wednesday can be a perfect Friday.  Sometimes we refer to such Friday as an Early Friday.

A good example of this is today.  Even though the calendar on every electronic device around me says “Thursday”, my colleagues are walking around with smiles on their faces.  “It’s Friday finally”, they say.  That is because tomorrow the Republic of Cyprus joins Greek in celebrations of the Ohi Day.  It is a public holiday which usually also features a military parade.

Interestingly, we don’t have a similar tradition for Late Monday.  Even though it would be logical to call the first working day of the week Monday, we don’t.  I think that is because Mondays are special.  They are tough and ugly and nobody likes them.  Calling another day of the week Monday is an insult.  Whereas calling another day of the week a Friday is a compliment.

With that, happy Early Friday to all of you guys!

The origin of toasts

Yesterday I heard the story of toasting origins.  It sounded interesting, but somewhat unrealistic.  It turned out to be true:

The practice of toasting originated in Ancient Greece, at a time when fear of poisoning was a significant concern. To put guests at ease, the host would pour the guests’ wine from a common decanter, take the first drink to demonstrate its safety, then raise his cup to the guests and invite them to drink in good health.

Going to Greek Blogger Camp

I’ve mentioned it to a few people already, and I wrote it here and there, but not, well, here. I’ll attend Greek Blogger Camp at the beginning of the next month. It’ll take place at Ios, one of many Greek islands, between 2nd and 3rd of June (that’s a weekend). I’ll fly from Larnaca to Athens, than take a ferry to Ios, and then will come back the same way on Monday. Expect lots of pictures, a few blogging posts, and plenty o’Twitter…

This trip covers a few items on wishlist in one go:

  • Attend a blogging event (conference/exhibition/whatever)
  • Meet more cool online people in real life. (Matt Mullenweg is one of the people I hope to have a pint with during that weekend).
  • Visit another European country. (Yes, I’ve heard that most Greek islands aren’t all that different from Cyprus, but it still counts as another country).

Also, considering that there are some pretty cool developments in the pipe for the Cyprus Blog Network, I thought it’d be fun to listen to smart guys before making a whole lot of mistakes (not that I will avoid making a whole lot of mistakes now, but at least I’m trying).

Next item on my (imaginary) todo list is:

  • Try using less brackets and parenthesis.

The story of Big Leonidas

The bright one among you have probably guessed by now that my name is Leonid. Well, in Greek and Cypriot culture there is no such name. There is a variation though. It is Leonidas.

As with many other names there was once a hero named Leonidas. In Greece, he was called Big Leonidas. I suspected it, but never got to learn the story until recently.

One of the aging Cypriots asked me if I know the story of Big Leonidas after he learned my name. I had to answer negative. The guy looks at me, relaxes in the armchair preparing to tell a long and noble story and tells me this (word in word):

Once there was a warrior. His name was Big Leonidas. Five hundred… no… one thousand Persians attacked him. And they all died.

He than gave me one of those looks that demanded appreciation. He spent the whole twenty freaking seconds educating me. Wow. It took me another twenty seconds to realize that the story was over. I thanked him afterwards…

Air plane crash

About two hours ago, an airplane of Helios Airlines has crashed 30km off Athens. It was flying from Larnaca, Cyprus to Althens, Greece carrying 115 passangers and 6 members of the crew. According to RBC news there are two versions of what happenned. One of them says that the plane crashed into the mountain when the pilot lost control. By another version, the plane blew up before it crashed into the mountain. The control tower lost all communications with the plane and that’s why it was followed by two fighter jets. There are also more details about pilots missing from the cabin a guy in the mask seen throught the window. This version doesn’t sound very authentic, but we’ll have to wait for the official version anyway.

I’m sure the tradegy will be all over the news for the next few days. Chances are that there were plenty of Greeks and Cypriots on board.

Update: Google news has about 300 stories already.