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June 26, 2006

A disturbed, and disturbing, night

On Saturday night both Claire and I stayed up to watch the conclusion of the Argentina - Mexico match, which didn't finish until around half-past-midnight Greek time, so we were pretty tired when we went to bed.

Since it has been so hot here over the last few days, we have been sleeping with the windows open, and at around 1:30am I was woken up by some girls screaming. It sounded like teenage hi-jinx, and I stumbled to the bathroom and back and found that the noise had woken Claire as well. It sounded like somebody was having a right party, and it went on for a few minutes.

Then Claire turned to me and said "That isn't happy screaming is it?".

Instantly my perception changed - and she was quite right. What I had assumed was kids mucking around now suddenly sounded like at least two women or girls in some kind of distress or anguish.

I dashed out on to the balcony, and then witnessed a real cultural difference between Greece and the UK. Whereas the British, well Londoners at least, tend to keep themselves to themselves and turn a blind eye to what is going on in their street - our entire neighbourhood was awake. Every house we can see from our balcony had lights on and people peering out the windows, or people in their nightshirts on the balcony. With all the attention the screaming stopped, and was replaced by a low murmuring of conversation which sounded like a neighbourly intervention.

We went back to bed a little creeped out. We still haven't found out what was actually going on.

I got back to sleep, but then Claire was woken up again in the early hours - this time because there was a car crash at the foot of our road! The alarm of the crashed car sounded continuously for a few minutes, and the scene was attended by a couple of emergency vehicles sounding their sirens. When we walked by later in the day there was glass all over the road and pavements.

I, bless, slept right through that.

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