Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Ancient Agora Museum in Athens - Unbridled Stoicism

We know you enjoy the vague reports on our mental health which we have been rather prone to publishing in recent months. Rest assured, then, that there are possible signs that everything will be ok, but in return the speed at which things happen has been cranked up to "relentless", and also there has been an infestation of fur beetles at Privy Counsel HQ, which has been traumatising in ways previously not imagined by us. Take our word for it - fur beetles are much less fun than they sound.

The levels of culture, intellectual endeavour, and - for want of a better word - refinement, have been dangerously high at the Privy Counsel of late. Everywhere we turn there is diligence and intellectualism - whether we want it to be there or not. A close friend of ours is currently in Rome, not only to get shitfaced on cheap Italian wine, but actually to engage in academic pursuits! We have been promised pictures of antique sewers, to be accompanied by stories of what archaeologists get up to when they are in the Eternal City getting sloshed on the local vino. Debauchery ahead!

That's all very well, we hear you say. Imagining future delights is one of the perquisites of possessing a human [Editor's note: Or, in the case of some of our friends, near-human] intellect. But life's a bitch and the future is unpredictable - what is there to delight and edify us now?
Fear not, gentle readers! We are all in favour of panem, circenses et picturae latrinarum! Let us frolic in the intemperate joy that comes from perusing pictures from the Ancient Agora Museum in Athens!

You will recollect (unless your gin is the really cheap kind) that we visited the Greek capital some time ago. While there we spent most of our time taking smug pictures of the local beaches and chugging home-made limoncello. However, we did manage, even while on holiday, a certain amount of culture and refinement, although said culture and refinement were tempered somewhat by the inordinate amounts of perspiration caused us by the Mediterranean climate. Be that as it may, we enjoyed ourselves immensely, tramping round the Ancient Agora carrying a stupidly heavy rucksack and sweating all over the place!

(We would not ordinarily do two posts in a row from the same place, but the risk of all the Athens pictures disappearing without a trace in our archive, unless we publish them straight away, has been judged by our risk assessment team to be very great indeed.)

We are all in favour of breaking the turgid restrictions of convention and bravely venturing outside the box, right? Yeah, that's what we thought - so obviously you will welcome this one sideways picture with open arms.

Very promising so far - the lack of a seat makes this toilet interesting and, possibly, more hygienic, and the flush pedal on the floor and the sticker forbidding in-toilet paper disposal make for high levels of festivity!

 This bin is for putting used bog roll in, which is icky but also exotic. (Or so we thought at the time, but then we get very excited and high-spirited in museums.)
A closer look at the super-festive flush pedal! Woof!

A sturdy and secure coat hook - we would expect nothing less of the cradle of democracy!
As our regular readers know, we adore toilet signage!
This one is made extra thrilling by incorporating a non-Latin alphabet!

(At this point we were definitely totally unable to restrain ourselves.)

Another exciting feature of the Agora: a fountain house!

Driven to extreme heights of excitement by the festive toilets, Hadrian lost his head completely.

These ostraka, displayed in the museum, nearly caused us to emit high-pitched excited noises, something we generally try to avoid.

The Head Privy Counsellor (note strap of hulking great heavy rucksack on shoulder) sweating
all over the Ancient Agora, in a relaxed horizontal position.

As Australian Friend said on one memorable occasion, "Although one would prefer to have Johnny from Grease, one may have to settle for a Johnny from Greece".

Festive video: Swedish Marines do Tribute to Greased Lightning in Afghanistan

Related Reading
Our previous post from Athens: Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts, But Totally Trust the Toilet Attendant
Other instances of us being creative with Latin puns, despite not knowing any Latin (thanks, mum):
Nunc Est Lavandum - Bath-time!
Roaring Good Roman Fun
All posts on Roman plumbing
A couple of previous festive museum toilets:
On the Nature of Academic Friendships
Quickly, Before We Sober Up: Icelandic Nostalgia

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