Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Car, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I'm just dying to get there

You'd think that if it was blowing a gale while driving you'd;

Not barrel along at twice the speed limit.

Chatter endlessly on your cell/mobile.

Decide today wasn't the best time to zig zag through traffic in homage to Mad Max/ The Fast and the Furious:Tokyo Drift.

Nope, I didn't think so either.

I think it comes as no surprise to find out that while the number of traffic accidents through out Greece has dropped by 5% in the last few years, there has been a 68% increase in Thessaloniki.
Still, what do you expect when the only time you see traffic cops is when they write parking tickets or come to direct traffic after a crash.

Last week I saw six accidents while going from lesson to lesson. This week just two. Still, it's only Monday.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

And the Band Played on

, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

Me and Minas gatecrashed this gig. I'm not sure what it was.

Fasten Your Seat Belts

, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Junkie Redemption

Junkie Redemption

I'm currently going through all my old pictures with a view to collecting the best ones for an exhibition I want to put on. This means shifting through thousands of photos in order to see if there is anything worth showing others.

I came across this image that I took last year the day after I bought my camera.. It is a guy drugged out of his head sitting on the steps of a church in the centre, I saw him tottering up and down and thought that I had to do something otherwise he'd slip and do some serious harm to himself so I approached him and got him to sit down and drink some water.

Afterwards I asked if I could take his picture.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Dream of a Disco

, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

Brett Walker

, originally uploaded by [brett walker].

One of the best photographers on Flickr. And a true inspiration.

Cry for help

Cry for help, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

I had an hour to kill between lessons and for some reason I decided to see where the Fates would take me and I came across a huge warehouse complex that had been abandoned even before it had been finished. Trudging through the mud and dumped rubbish I took a lot of very boring pictures then noticing the time decided I had better make tracks if I wanted to be in school on time.

Just as was about to leave I saw this woman walking in my direction. I don't know why but something in me said that there was a good picture in this so I kept my camera turned on and went to my Vespa. Sure enough, she approached me and asked me to give her two Euros to buy heating oil.

There are places in this city that wouldn't look out of place in the slums of the developing world. Places where people lead lives of appalling deprivation and exclusion. sometimes just metres away from fancy office blocks and the glitzy stores.

Influenced by Don McCullin

Uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ on 24 Jan 08, 11.25PM EET.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Street preaching

Street preaching, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

Actually, this guy's message was political rather than religious. He was berating the present government's scandal - ridden second term, a sentiment that many of those who walked passed him on Tsimiski St agreed with.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

So much heaven, so much hell

We think we're heroes, we think we're kings
We plan all kinds of fabulous things
Oh look how great we have become

Key in the door, the moment I've been longing for
Before my bag hit the floor
My adorable children rush up screaming for a kiss
And a story they're a gift to this world
My only claim to glory
I surely never knew sweeter days
Blows my mind like munitions
I'm amazed

So much heaven, so much hell
So much love, so much pain
So much more than I thought this world could ever contain
So much war, so much soul
One mans loss, another mans gold
So much more than I thought this world can ever hold

We're just children, we're just dust
We are small and we are lost
And we're nothing, nothing at all

One bomb, the whole block gone
Can't find me children and dust covers the sun
Everywhere is noise, panic and confusion
But to some another fun day in Babylon
I'm gonna bury my wife and dig up my gun
My life is done so now I got to kill someone

So much heaven, so much hell
So much love, so much pain
So much more than I thought this world could ever contain
So much war, so much soul
Moments lost, moments go
So much more than I thought this world could ever hold

So much more than I thought this world could ever hold
So much more than I thought this world could ever hold

So much heaven, so much hell
So much love, so much pain
So much more than I thought this world could ever contain
So much war, so much soul
Moments lost, moments go
So much more than I thought this world could ever hold

Bombs - Faithless


Sunshine, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

La Jetee

La Jetee, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

This image brought to mind Chris Marker's film, La Jetee.

``His is the story of a man, marked by an image from his childhood. The violent scene that upsets him, and whose meaning he was to grasp only years later, happened on the main jetty at Orly, the Paris airport, sometime before the outbreak of World War III.

Orly, Sunday. Parents used to take their children there to watch the departing planes.

On this particular Sunday, the child whose story we are telling was bound to remember the frozen sun, the setting at the end of the jetty, and a woman's face.

Nothing sorts out memories from ordinary moments. Later on they do claim remembrance when they show their scars. That face he had seen was to be the only peacetime image to survive the war. Had he really seen it? Or had he invented that tender moment to prop up the madness to come?

The sudden roar, the woman's gesture, the crumpling body, and the cries of the crowd on the jetty blurred by fear.

Later, he knew he had seen a man die."

For the rest of the script

The $100 laptop Vs The World's Cheapest Car

I'm off sick today so I thought I'd write about an idea I've been using in class recently.

The basic idea is which is more likely to help improve people's lives in the developing world; OLPC's laptop or the new Tata Nano.

Lesson Plan

1 Ask students if they have heard anything about either the the world's cheapest car or the $100 dollar laptop. Get students to stand up and circulate so that they can consult anyone in the class.

2 Elicit answers from the class - Write their points on the board.

3 If students have access to the internet get them to research the two choices - strict time limit of 10 minutes should help to concentrate minds. Also to avoid students just mindlessly repeating what Wiki, CNN or the BBC say, make sure they knew that at the end of the 10 minutes they won't be able to look at the computers again so they'll have to take notes.

4 Students get into groups of 2-4 and share what they've found out.

If students do not have access to the net then print out articles from here and here and do the same i.e 10 minutes to take notes then retrieve the photocopies.

5 Divide the class into two groups. Assign each group either the car or the laptop.

6 Each group has to think of as many reasons why their choice would make a greater difference to people in, say India, Nigeria or Bolivia than the other sides choice.

If you feel that this is beyond their realm of experience then use the following prompts to get them started;

How practical is it?

How can you make money with this?

How would it change a family's life?

What about the effects on the environment?

Who is going to use it?

7 Divide the students once again into groups of 2-4 and get them to argue their point.

8 Finally, ask students about their own personal opinion of these two choices.

This exercise could be used as the starting point for a number of activities;

For/Against essay

A speech which could be videoed and put on the class blog/wiki via Youtube.

A Voicethread photoessay (in the style of a Magnum podcast).

A podcast or voice post using Snapvine.

Or they could discuss this issue with others across the world using Kantalk

Abandoned buildings

, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Another kingdom

, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

Spent a hour or so wandering through this place, an abandoned warehouse in the west of the city, occasionally getting the fright of my life as pigeons flew past. The place is full of weird and wonderful details.

Every empty building I enter is like another, forgotten kingdom.

Sony generation

Sony generation, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Sunshine, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

Worshipping at our altar

Paying our respects to the ionised gods.

Our Father, who art in the ether,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy schedule come.
Thy will be done,
on TV as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily helping.
And forgive us our zapping,
As we forgive those who do not tune into us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from repeats.
[For thine are the ratings,
and the power, and the revenue,
for ever and ever.

Today's million

OK, I'm officially freaked out. I was just looking at various hit counters,video views and the like and it seems that over a million people have seen stuff I've put on the internet. Youtube videos, Flickr pics and blog posts seem to add up.

I really do not know how this happened.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Even the dead get restless

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Winter kisses

Winter kisses, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

Thessaloniki in the fog

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Pols, like zombies, keep on coming back to public life no matter what

Aristotelous Square

Aristotelous, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

Fog bound this morning. Strangely though, the top of the square was bathed in sunlight.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Extreme parking

Extreme parking, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

The lack of car parking facilities in Thessaloniki has forced local drivers to take things into their own hands.

Actually, I was going home from a lesson when I saw this parked inside a local video store. The driver had left his car just up the hill from the place but the handbrake had failed letting it roll into the shop. Luckily, nobody was hurt.

Uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ on 15 Jan 08, 10.41PM EET.

Port worker's demonstration

Port worker protesting, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

Port workers in Greece are protesting government plans to privatise the industry.

Gatecrashing the party.

, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

Tonight I gatecrashed some fancy do with lots of pols. I was going from lesson to lesson when I saw that there was a do in in the Velleidio conference centre. Parking the Vespa, I just took out my camera and strolled into the place and started taking pics.

It was yet another chance for the chattering classes to congratulate themselves on...what exactly? I haven't the faintest. Something to do with sport I think. Like they need an excuse?

However, unlike this bunch on self-serving blow hards I had work to do. So I missed all their wonderful speeches in praise of themselves.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sluicing the crap out of my ears

OKANA exhibition opening

After hearing this particular member of the government's speech at the OKANA (an organisation the helps people deal with the effects of drug addiction) I just wanted to sluice out the bullshit from my ears. I'm constantly amazed by their self - love and total unwillingness to accept any responsibility for any mistakes, they or their party have made.

Instead, pol after pol droned on about how he has been trying to get more funding, but mysteriously they have all failed due to the "establishment" or "special interest groups."

I'm sick of them playing pass the buck whilst trying desperately to sell the idea of themselves as rebels fighting the system.

OKANA exhibition opening

During the soviet era Russian citizens had to get permission to have a gathering of more than four people. If things continue as they have been recently any gathering of more than four people in Thessaloniki will need to have the presence of Panayiotis Psomiadis, the publicity crazed head of the local prefecture.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Life on the streets

, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

Life on the streets here is harder than I can possibly imagine.

I meet this guy in the summer as he was quietly drinking retsina under a tree in the centre. Then, by chance I bumped into him whilst I was taking pictures during a student demonstration.

Students demonstrations

Greek students demonstrating for more funding for education

Greek students demonstrating for more funding for education

Greek students demonstrating for more funding for education

Pictures from the Demonstration by TEI (technical institutes) over lack of funding for their branch of higher education and education in general in Greece. Often these places are seen by the government as a cheap dumping ground for young people wishing to study beyond high school. they lack facilities and the staff are paid abysmally (and often even that pittance is delayed for months on end).

See here and here for reports in Greek.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Manolis's story

Manolis, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

Thankfully, some stories have a happy end. Last week I wrote about Manolis, a busker who I often bump into whilst taking pictures in the centre.The last time I saw him he was looking very depressed and nothing like his usual cheerful self, the reason being that he had been served a deportation notice that told him that that after ten years of legal residence in Greece he had 30 days to return to Albania. Luckily, I had on me the number of a lawyer who deals in such cases and Giorgos, despite being swamped with work this week was more than willing to help out.

Now instead of being summarily expelled from the country Manolis has a fighting chance to being able to stay in the country as his case will have to undergo judicial review which he has a good chance of winning.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Hommage to Hitchcock

For all those fans of Hitchcock's The Birds.

Hommage to Hitchcock

Last day off

Last day before I go back to work full-time so I thought I'd roam the city and take pictures in my free time. I decided to take in different places throughout Thessaloniki.

Politicians on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Arka - Come back, all is forgiven

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Abandoned, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

Taken from the top floor of a deserted tobacco warehouse on the west side of the city. Strangely, the place still smelt strongly of tobacco even though it must have been abandoned for years.

Luckily, I went there before I watched I am Legend otherwise there is no way I'd enter a dark gloomy building full of shadows and who knows what.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Feeling Good

Feeling Good, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

"Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Reeds driftin on by you know how I feel

Its a new dawn
Its a new day
Its a new life
For me
And Im feeling good

Fish in the sea you know how I feel
River running free you know how I feel
Blossom in the tree you know how I feel


Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, dont you know
Butterflies all havin fun you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done
Thats what I mean

And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
For me

Stars when you shine you know how I feel
Scent of the pine you know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And I know how I feel"

Feeling Good by Nina Simone

Helping out

He called himself Manoulis

I got the chance to help someone yesterday. While buying bread in the centre I bumped into Manolis, who I often see busking in Aristotelous Square. We always chat and catch up on our news. Unfortunately, after 10 years residence in Greece he was served with a notice telling him that he had 30 days to quit the country. As you can imagine the man was gutted and at a loss as to what to do. He has no money to hire a lawyer to fight this decision and without his papers he becomes a non - person unable to earn a living, living in fear of every cop or official who crosses his path.

Luckily, I was able to put him contact with a lawyer friend who specialises in such cases and a after a couple of calls later we were able to pop by his office and at least see if his case could be contested.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Dude by Minas

, originally uploaded by minas_of_the_north.

One of great things about meeting up with other Flickr users such as Fragitsa and Minas is that you can talk about pictures, photographers and influences to your heart's content knowing that the others are not going to enter glazed eye mode within 30 seconds.

The other advantage is that you can take endless pictures of each other without annoying the others. Geeky? Nerdy? Absolutely. But when you see results like this by Minas then who cares what others think.

Minas - at least that's what he told us

Minas, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Minas and Fragitsa

Last night I had the chance to go out and have a great time with Minas and Fragitsa, both of whom are wonderful photographers. It was great being able to chat about life, photography and Czech beer.

Minas -

Fragitsa -

Any similarity between this and Minas's work is purely intentional.

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

Charles Caleb Colton



Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy 2008

I hope that those of you celebrated New Year had a great time. I certainly did, surrounded by friends, eating and drinking to my heart's content. A few images from then, then.

Magda and Lydia

Magda and Kostis

On the stroke of midnight