I find it curious that the theme for all three chapters have continuously gone back to the idea of melancholy. With chapter 10, it describes the differences in translation of the word Huzun; whether you’re thinking about it with sad connotation or not. In chapter 11, he discusses four melancholic writers, who “have taught me how to reconcile my love for modern art and western literature with the culture of the city I love.” Despite the fact the tone of the literature of these writers may be melancholy, Pamuk has found a brightness from them.
Admittedly, when I think of the Mediterranean and food, I think of olives and olive oil and tomatoes (Italian food). This article made me giggle a little bit when I read the part of Olive oil being associated with Advil and Motrin. It’s funny, because my Aunt works for the company who makes Advil and she loves the Mediterranean region and travels there constantly. I’m curious if she has any idea of the products her company makes and her favorite region are oddly tied together.
Aside from that, it saddens me to think that something that is such a staple to a region of the world has become so commercialized that the history of the product has become lost. I know that it comes from the Mediterranean, but I didn’t know that a raw or and olive in it’s “natural” state is bitter and inedible. I don’t eat olives, so I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference but it’s still small things like that, that get lost in the growth of a product.
The economic crisis in Greece isn’t exactly a secret. For someone who doesn’t frequently divulge in the economics of countries in Europe, I noticed that the problems presented in the “Eat That!” article are fairly common. Obviously, if the problems were simple there wouldn’t be a crisis for many years. The fact that it’s common knowledge that tax evasion is a “national sport” seems odd to me. I realize that taxes are a pain and that paying them is even worse, but for the most part taxes do help the economy in one way or another. The concept of hundreds of thousands of Greeks basically being tax exempt just seems like a waste. Not wanting to implement or enforce taxes also seems like a waste. I’m not saying tax them till they have nothing left, but basic taxes to simply boost the economy enough to sustain itself doesn’t seem like the worst concept. The other problem that seems to be occurring is people not paying back loans; which you’ll find almost anywhere. The extent of people not paying, is to the point where banks have retrained their employees to collect money, instead of allow people to borrow more money. Also, with each new leader of the country the people have very little trust and are apprehensive, and deservedly so, with the dictator history. The common theme though, is that the Greeks always defaulted to physical properties as wealth and not money.