Heading into the area of Monastiraki I came across Athens Flea Markets and some of the tourist markets. Men sit in the sun, soaking it up, others play backgammon and gather a small but interested crowd and languages ricochet from the small alleys in multitudes of dialects and tones. Some of these areas are pedestrianised but somehow it doesn't stop the mad motorcyclists or the provision vans, not to mention the yellow taxis from popping up when you when you least expect it.
There may be some wonderful bargains to be found here and some lively Greeks who will enjoy the bartering as an exercise that needs to be won. Some of the bits of furniture I suspect come from old grand houses which have fallen on hard times. There are homeless people and a fair amount begging on street corners. One lady was asking for help saying she had a sick husband. Hours later she was in exactly the same spot, plaintively asking for help. Most ignored her and carried on. I found it hard to listen to and bought her food and drink for her at least to have a break.I noticed there are more dogs - once treasured pets perhaps, who have now been abandoned.
Nothing however seems to dent that Greek spirit of - lets enjoy the moment. Here are some bouzouki players who were outside the metro station strumming away.