Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Politics of Expat Wall Decorations

The wall hanger came!

As part of our empire lifestyle, we are provided with a one-time wall hanging service, where someone will come hammer holes in our concrete walls so we can hang up pictures. Our wall hanger came last week.

Family portrait wall. Imagine there's a roaring fire in there.*
*Phil says we probably won't have fires because of the risks.

Family portraits, up close. This is what we look like in person.

This is a recent acquisition that we commissioned from a really cool, young, DC-based artist named Summer.
You can't tell from the picture, but she actually used metallic paint for some of the background buildings.
I'm so thrilled this is finally hanging on our portrait wall. It is perfect.
We miss you, Summer. Thank you for letting us hang your artwork in our house.

This stuff is right above the little entryway table in our entryway.
I'm not used to all this furniture. I don't know what to call that stupid little table.
Is it actually an entryway table?
Anyway, here's a cool expat decorating tip: collect and frame postcards from places where you've lived.
If you live enough places, you could have a pretty cool-looking wall.
We've only lived two other places, so our wall looks like this.
Still pretty freaking cool.

The guy who hung all this stuff for us was really pleasant. He came a few days before the election last week (it happened on Sunday, it was no big deal, the old PM won again and was quite thrilled), so we talked politics. I asked him who he was planning to vote for and he told me he honestly didn't care who won, because he didn't feel like anything was going to change. He said his whole generation is in a terrible position of under and unemployment right now, and he doesn't see a clear way out of it. He told me he lies about his own position, and tells people he is a waiter because it would make other people feel angry and jealous if they heard how well he was doing in comparison to them.

Somewhere between a quarter to a half of young adults in Greece are unemployed. That figure is absolutely insane. It's not just a Greek issue, though their's is pretty bad. There are a lot of places where young adults are struggling to obtain financial security. I told this guy about the student loan debt crisis currently going on in the United States. We both agreed that this many young adults wandering around without gainful employment puts a huge strain on global economics and security. Like true philosophers, neither of us had a solution. 

I really enjoyed talking with this guy right up until he started asking me about U.S. politics. It's one thing to make fun of politicians when you're at home, but it's an entirely different experience talking about your nation's leaders with a local in another country. It's sort of like my dog; I can say that she's an awful, obnoxious witch that should be locked away, but if someone else says it, then they obviously don't know her at all. U.S. politics are weird. Take the 2016 presidential race, for example. It's been going on for a thousand years, and we're not even voting until next November. How do you explain that process to someone who was informed about an election in August, was invited to vote in September, and expected to have a national leader installed a few days later? I'm not sure I understand it myself, and I was born into it. 

So, eventually, I left him to his own devices, and folded laundry. After he left, I hung everything up, and documented it. Come see it in real life.

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