Infinitely Curious Katerina Batzaki
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Infinitely Curious: An episode on trains (12.03.2023)

I have a love affair with trains. I chose my apartment in the Athens neighbourhood of Rouf because I can watch the trains pass by every day from my window. A good morning with Angeliki, the person in charge who raises and lowers the train barrier so that cars can pass, is enough to make my day. As a student I always took the train. Britain, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Greece, wherever I lived wherever I travelled, I even loaded my bike on a train. Five kids back in the 80’s we thought we could relive stand by me the movie in our summer holidays in Loutraki and we had started with a backpack on our backs thinking we were going on a trip to Vietnam on foot to only arrive 1 km later because there were no other tracks. To us, the route seemed like forever. To the locals it was just decorative. Just like for the politicians in this country. Decades now. Decorative and useless. So safety was never a priority. In the last few days the trains from my window have become thinner.

We all boarded this train on February 28th in Tempi Greece. So did Christos and Harris and John and Danae who took part on the March 8th protests this week. And we’re still boarding. For years now. And we always hit a wall. Just like all those thousands of “annoying” or annoyed people shouting slogans that day like…call me when you get there OR..thousands of squats against a world of organized rot…! In a march surrounded by thousands of uniformed people who only if the money for their robocop uniforms was given for Fire Protection ;….BUT apparently citizens are more dangerous than fires. It’s not the train crash, it’s not corruption, the pugnacity, the pothole in the road or sidewalk, the cobbled or sloppy, the selling off of OSE for peanuts and another 50 million given every year to the company it was privatized, deprived of the right to any compensation. It’s the wall. Because the wall is like Groundhog Day. It hurts. Every time and time again.

Listen to this episode of ”Infinitely Curious” with Katerina Batzaki, to hear Christos, Harris, Yannis and Danae talk about what hurts them and what they would like to change in Greece. Jedde Hollewijn, Policy Officer for Railways for the European Union Transport Workers Federation talks about safety on trains and the ills of privatization and the band Common Mortals (Koinoi Thnitoi) sing for all of us common people reminding us that it is from us for us that any change can come. Because it can.

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