When in Rome…


I am just practising a few phrases I can use when I go to Larisa court  on Tuesday to ask prosecutor Papacosta whether she has made any progress on my case.

I am using the approach suggested by a Greek person, namely, to think and express myself in circuitous way. I have a sneaking suspicion readers will be quite impressed at the elegance of my convulted loquacity as in…

“Is there any chance that according to the paragraphs and subdivisions of the Greek criminal code, bearing in mind the weather is very hot, and that summer holidays will soon be here and work will slow, and the Greek budget surplus is lower than expected, and the moon and stars over Larisa shine only at night, I can ask you with all due deference, making a bow, if it is allowed respectfully, before your august desk, whether I can get a grain of information concerning a matter close to my heart, which is located, by the way, in the interior of my body, and supplies blood to the rest of my limbs, whether I could possibly be informed by yourself, given the pile of files on your desk, if one of those files is mine, and if one of those files concerns the crimes against little, worthless and annoying me, which one, and how many pages it has, and whether in any of those multitude of pages, there is any page at all, referening the original crime against little me and the naming the culprits, and if there is such a page whether you have had the chance to peruse its many lines and contemplate its contents and evaluate a course of action, which might eventually, after many steps, many stamps, signatures, copies and changes in case file number, lasting the duration of numerous hours, days, months, possibly years, taking into account all rules and procedures, finally put the culprits in jail or do you intend to put me in jail on some trumped up charge?”

Deep breath after the anticipated answer (not yet) to be followed by another safe, well mannered, circuituous part, which absolutely never forces anyone to admit they have fallen short of professional or legal standarads or that you have rights independently of their whims…

“I would like to draw your attention to a piece of paper dated from April 13th bearing the stamp of your august court in the top right hand corner in which I most respectfully, courteously, aware of my great impertinence as a mere foreigner and a victim, making no claim to any right whatsoever I have under European or Greek law, and by no means insistent or demanding, gently remind you that you as one of the accused of minor little details and deeds, involving a cover up of a tiny little crime of mere murder against worthless old me, and involving no proof other than hand written notes by the police and fabricated witnesses on a ministry of interior letter and other documents, would like to consider that I may avail of my right to have the file transferred to an external prosecutor, in one of the grandiose towns that encircle this wonderful town of Larisa whose inhabitants resemble the gods of Homer in bearing if I may say so, including of course, your august self, who reminds me of the descriptions of all the most important characters in the Illiad including Helen, and Clymnestra, not to mention Athene, Aphrodite and Hera, would condescend to allow me to depart from this office and magnificent building with flights of stairs, corridors and photo copying machines, without having me thrown into prison on some trumped up charge or not?”

I think that  skirts the issue. Readers who do not think this is a wonderful way of speaking should stay away from Greece.  When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Greece speak like the Greeks do.

 

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