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In Alexei's garage fixing Macedonian history In Alexei's garage fixing Macedonian history
by Thanos Kalamidas
2011-12-21 08:34:23
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A few weeks ago I met my friend Kari and he was really worrying with a strange sound coming from his car’s engine. So we decided instead of continuing with our drinks to visit a nearby garage where the owner was somebody Kari knew and he did miracles with car-engines, he could fix just everything. On the way there and after telling me about his friend’s talents he added that he was Yugoslavian not specifying where from the country that didn't exist anymore and leaving it just there but I suppose he was thinking that since Greece and Yugoslavia used to be kind of neighbours I would connect and feel familiar with him straight away.

Fifteen minutes later Kari was introducing me to a tall and very thin Serbian with definitely very friendly attitude and spirit. He heard Kari’s complains about the engine and asked him to drive the car inside the garage. While Kari was driving the car inside a young man in his early twenties came to join us and it was exactly the moment I was saying to the Serbian man that I born in Athens. The young man just looked at me said something in Slavic I didn’t understand and then run inside like something had bitten him. In the meantime Kari had parked his car and he was coming to meet us when the boy came from somewhere in the back carrying and waving a huge red-yellow flag, screaming “I’m great Alexander!” and started dancing around me getting closer in a very threatening way and waving the flag in front of my face.

The dance was becoming gradually more and more aggressive and I have to admit that after the first screams I had absolutely no idea what he was screaming but I could sense that my not reacting attitude was somehow increasing his temper and gradually he started pushing me making the Serbian man and Kari – who obviously hadn’t reacted in the beginning numbed from the sock of the whole situation – to interfere and try to stop him. The young man was uncontrollable and now he had picked a screw-driver waving it in front of me despite the fact that both, his boss and my friend seemed ready to grab him. The Serbian man managed to get his hands and take the screw-driver while Kari was still next to me trying somehow to shield me.

The whole scene seemed very surreal and I think the main reason I hadn’t reacted myself was because it was so …surreal from one side and because the same time the flag had given me some signs for what I was dealing with and I was not going to resolve a major issue like that in a garage with a twenty year old who was holding a screw-driver screaming that he will kill me, as the Serbian man told me later. The boy and the flag were obviously originated form the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and just like the country had reacted the last few years instead of looking for reasoning he was trying to find his right through screaming. We were standing for a few minutes with Kari quiet outside the place having a cigarette and trying to recover from the whole thing when the Serbian man came outside obviously ready to apologize and trying save some face but the young man stormed out again screaming and waving again the flag. This time the Serbian man obviously having enough he told him something in Slavic and moved towards him obviously ready to use his fists. In the sight of the Serbian man and my friend Kari ready to act the young man ran away still screaming and vanished in the dark. For the hour and while fixing the car the Serbian man kept apologizing telling us that he had fired the boy, that he was obviously smoking too much grass and desperately trying not a lose a good customer like Kari.

I felt and still feel very sorry for this young man. I feel sorry for his hate and his ignorance and the same time I feel angry for all those who created him. I have very rarely right anything about the name situation and the whole issue between Greece and FYROM and I have done so not because I have any doubts on who has the historic right to the name but exactly because I know. You see Alexander the Great, Alexander the Macedon was Greek and this is not something I say, theorise or believe; it is something that is inside mu conscious, my historic genes and memories. And is not only in my consciousness. Ask anybody from Japan to America, from any class and any education background; they will tell you exactly the same thing, Alexander the Macedonian was Greek. And you can not fight the global conscious doesn’t matter how much you scream and how much you threaten. Actually the only thing you manage to do – the more you scream and the more you threaten – is start bothering your protectors and just like in this case the garage’s boss in the end you will be fired screaming alone in the dark. And in this case the dark has a boogieman and a boogieman with Albanian teeth that bite.

FYROM’s rulers act just like this boy, screaming, kicking and threatening they believe that they are going to push their agenda. Building hundreds of statuses in gigantic sizes of Alexander the great they think that they are going to legitimise their country and they doing that fighting a global consciousness that tell people that they are fake. I think it was back in eighties when a professor from Istanbul University came with the theory that Homer was a Turk making even his compatriots laugh and becoming the global historians joke.  Trying to misappropriate another nation’s history, especially the Greek history that has become the global history and doing so by screaming like a little kid and threatening while you live in the edge in just too many ways is at least laughable and it would be totally surreal if it was not real this moment.

But FYROM’s rulers have many reasons to bother with the name and make so much noise about it; you see the noise covers a hard reality that includes trafficking, money laundering, weapons commerce and drugs. Actually – and I have wrote in the same way before – FYROM is the cancer of Europe that at the moment certain interests and geopolitical agendas keep covered. Add to all these the problems of identity since FYROM’s rulers want to feel Alexander’s descendants but most likely they are Albanians’ children and when it comes the time to really deal with that their protectors will forget even their names!

P.S. Alexei, the name of the young man, I know that you are angry and most likely this minute you have personalize your anger since you blame me even for the loss of your job. But please just stop for a minute and think. Don’t you think that I was just an excuse and that obviously your boss had built up with all your little obsessions and he was looking for an excuse that so open-handed you gave him? Have you though that except feeling sorry for you nothing else touched me and that all this bitterness that actually has nothing to do with you but others installed in you has poisoned you so much that you cannot see clear even basic things? Stop now otherwise this will gradually destroy you!

And for the FYROM government. See what you doing and every time you scream and harass you destroy another Alexei and I wander if in the end there will be any Alexeis left to support you. And most importantly before poisoning Alexeis why don’t you stop poisoning Europe having become the drugs and trafficking centre of the continent.

 


        
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Dimitra Karantzeni2011-12-21 15:22:18
Incredible article... I can't believe you managed to keep your temper during this obviously surreal event! I totally agree with you, FYROM's rulers do nothing but cultivate extreme nationalists, in the name of ''national sovereignty''. After all this propaganda and continuous falsfication of history and, and with such a devastated country which every day sinks deeply in illegality, i just wonder how dare they claim to be even conceptualized as a future european civilized country. Once again, i don't blame the people, but the corrupt governments, for having created and still maintaining this monstrosity.


MariaM2011-12-22 15:12:26
It's just sad that this has happened. I've never gotten much involved in the whole FYROM debate, because -as you said it- there is no debating historical truths. They are trying to create a national identity by distorting truths and history. It's not the first time this has happened, but the blind nationalism this is creating has no place in a Europe that has experienced two horrific World Wars due to nationalism. This young man did not know you, he didn't even try to reason with you, but was just driven by blind hate and lies. I hope it's not something we will see happening more and more. But times are difficult and the sleep of Reason creates monsters.


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