Thessaloniki: The ‘erotic’ city

 These hot and quite days of August, I wandered with my bicycle around the empty Thessaloniki. I rode into the back streets of Harilaou, Kato Toumpa, Faliro, downtown, Xirokrini, Ampelokipous. I saw the same picture everywhere. Ugly buildings, unrented neighborhood shops, filth and abandonment. Numerous itinerants with barrows and their babies rummaging the garbage and collecting everything from clothes to recycling items.  The small shops, which used to bring life to the neighborhood and serve its needs, do not exist anymore.  They have all closed down. The former commercial central streets are paved with business carcasses that disappeared. It’s not easy to meet Greeks in the backstreets of downtown, not because they are on holidays, but because they don’t leave there anymore. A ‘no man’s land’ neighborhood just down the Vardari area. A cocktail of  low rank brothels and Chinese shops, which sell at wholesale prices all kinds of junk,  makes you think you are in Thailand.

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