On the persistence of the local breed of prat

April 14, 2011 § 8 Comments

Every nation has its prats, and the Mediterranean, via Italy, has given the broad, generous, diverse United States one of its most celebrated varieties of prats: the guido. I can now report that the Greeks have their own variety of prat. He resembles the guido, only he wears more black and his shoes are not as carefully selected.

The hotel where I am staying is occupied, in the WiFi-enabled lobby, all day by a tremendous rotating population of these prats. As I sit here, I am surrounded by five. They are all young and beefy, though in a soft and not thoroughly exercised way, in sporty athletic gear, with short hair slicked up, several of them playing loud music on their laptops at the same time. On my word, one is engrossed in a Phil Collins song. None seems to own any earphones but given the noted kindness of the inhabitants of the country perhaps they would not dream of hogging their Phil Collins.

The other day one was looking for hours at the same YouTube videos of Lamborghinis, with very noisy soundtracks, over and over.

So far, if you can believe it, I have seen no women who do this.

When I was on a student trip to Greece, about 15 years ago, during my time at NYU, we had a Greek woman serve us for a tour guide. She rode the bus with us for several days, after we fired our previous tour guide for being a liar who invented historical facts, such as that the Greeks had invented writing, and claimed several times that the Turks were to blame for everything.

Our second guide was thin, with russet colored hair carefully shaped into an immobile chin-length bob. She wore clothes in shades of rust and black, and she had enormous sunglasses that hid half her face. She had a funereal air and spoke in a precise, strained English, clutching the bus microphone close to her mouth, still and straight as a kore but without its smile.

As we drove through the sunny Greek countryside, I recall that in the middle of nowhere she suddenly announced, “In the Greek villages you will see many men sitting or standing around all day, having cups of coffee. Where are the women?” She looked mechanically left and right as if to seek the women.

“They are working.”


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§ 8 Responses to On the persistence of the local breed of prat

  • Vanessa says:

    I recognise this particular breed of prat – they also play loud music in their souped up Fiesta Turbos with the window down. My father always warned me off such types: he walked out of a hotel restaurant in Worcester once because there was a prat having dinner wearing a baseball cap backwards.

  • Indeed. For who could chew and swallow while looking at that?

  • Laura says:

    Anna Wintour was a Greek tour guide? Who knew?

    And, thank heavens, you’re okay and writing. I’d been wondering about you. Not yet worrying, but heading in that direction.

  • Persolaise says:

    When do you EVER see groups of women sitting around doing nothing? Even when they’re sitting around in groups, they’re doing something.

    But I think it’s very cruel of you to criticise men for their in-bred inability to multi-task. It is simply and literally impossible for them to sit around in groups AND be productive.

  • Victoria says:

    You should see the Russian version of those species. Their attributes include closely cropped hair, athletic wear (they should look ass if they are ready to exercise at any moment,) gold chains and black Jeeps. Watch any current Russian film, observe the prat and you don’t need to know Russian to understand that he is not a good guy. Good guys in Russian movies wear suits, speak several European languages and can recite Tolstoy by heart. And they are often millionaires!

  • […] were the prats in the hotel lobby. One afternoon I went down and the concierge was shouting at one, who shouted back, leaning forward […]

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