At Athens airport, the digital noticeboard reads like the script of an agitprop play. ‘Strike, strike, strike, strike, strike,’ it announces, next to the destinations. ‘Due to the turmoil,’ says the PR person we’re talking to, ‘all the politicians you’ve flown in to interview have pulled out.’ My cameraman, driving the Audi, seems determined to break the world land-speed record between Athens and Patras, but is thwarted by the fact that the 21st-century motorway is blocked by a mudslide. This means travelling on the 20th-century road, which is really a 3rd-century bc road lined with concrete and graffiti. At Derveni, a strip of crumbling concrete villas, we find the one restaurant that is not closed. ‘There used to be ten of us, now there’s just three,’ says the manager, flipping switches to bring the heating and the folk music to life.