In 2006 I moved to a cute flat in Athens with a view of the Acropolis and of the mausoleum of Philopappus of Comagene (where do names like this come from?). It was a great place to live before and after the riots began. I hope it still is. As a city with a higher population density than Shanghai that doubles in size every generation, it’s where my heart is. Looking over five million people in a city created practically overnight in 1923, I loved Athens.
Great as this flat was, there was a small glitch: a tiny lift that often broke down. I used to do the shopping for a little old lady on the fifth floor and even braved the riots to get her vital necessities from the local convenience store, where rioters and policemen called a truce to buy cigarettes. (I remember going back, younger and fitter, ready to do the “don’t mention it, Ma’am” routine for braving a riot to buy an old lady some groceries. She gave me a bollocking for buying the wrong kind of milk.)
Anyway, the lift was too small for my bicycle, a beautiful red machine with which I would defy death along Athens’ busy thoroughfares. As I was too lazy to lug it up six flights of stairs, I used to remove all easily nickable accessories, such as the saddle, and chain it outside.
One day, saddle in hand, I came down to find my bike gone. In a fit of pique, I went to the local camera store and bought my first DSLR, a Canon 400D.
To this day I really hope the thief had a very sore arse.
Now I live in a medieval village in Provence and recently purchased a bicycle. It’s also red.
I wonder what I might do next if someone steals it…