Skip navigation

Blatchford: Singing a different tune in Athens

Globe and Mail Update

Athens — It was mid-way through the Games that something in one of The Globe's two rented apartments in suburban Iraklio began to loudly sing.

I noticed it late one night, coming home after a diving event, and heard a tinny tune emanating out of the kitchen. Thought nothing of it at first: With three of us sharing the joint -- photographer John Lehmann, sportswriter Bev Smith and me - and all of us having various mobile phones, laptops and gee-gaws that are the modern tools of the trade, there's a lot of beeping, ringing, etc. that goes on.

More postcards from Athens:

  • Brunt: An uninspiring Olympic tradition
  • Smith: Greeks always amaze
  • Maki: A round of applause for Athens
  • Christie: A stench engulfs the Games
  • Brunt: Greeks ask a familiar question
  • Blatchford: The best guide in Athens tells it like it is
  • Smith: Olympic ring tones
  • Maki: Canada's swim problems? Blame me
  • Blatchford: Defending the dogs
  • Brunt: Athens goes to the dogs
  • Maki: An ugly Olympic tradition continues
  • Christie: Feeling secure in Athens
  • Sign up to have daily postcards delivered to your inbox
    • But the little tune - it's a few bars from an opera, this much I know, but as a cultural ignoramus can't identify it further - kept playing to the point where it was irritating. It would not stop for the longest time, and at 3 a.m., it was less than enchanting.

      I launched a search-and-destroy mission to no avail.

      Unbeknownst to me, Lehmann, arriving home at different times of the night, was doing the same thing, trying to identify the source of the wretched song and waste it.

      Independently, we each narrowed it down to a corner of the kitchen counter, near the drainboard, but could pinpoint it no further. Lehmann suspected it was some sort of alarm in one of the locked cupboards; I decided I had it was a timer inexplicably buried in the wall, or that I lost my mind and was hallucinating.

      Finally, on another recce mission, success at last: A souvenir coffee cup from Crete was the culprit. And the reason it went off at night was because it has a light-sensitive sensor in the base of the cup.

      I am proud to report that against every instinct, we did not smash it to pieces.

      Recommend this article? 0 votes

      Back to top