Can you post a picture of yourself with a nice, uplifting comment to bring out some positivity in yourself?

Um… positivity?

… You’ve A2A’d the right guy, Diane? OK. I’m a misery guts, but I appreciate the challenge!

It was my honeymoon, last year. For her sins, I dragged my honey to my home town in Greece. I wanted her to know where I grew up.

I hadn’t been back in six years; and I hadn’t gotten to properly explore it on my previous visits back. I was trying to recapture what it was like thirty years ago, for my honey. But it kept slipping through my fingers. It seems so much smaller. Much more sullen—not just because it was in winter, but it was in the winter of Greece, resigned after years of economic crisis. The town has grown; but it seemed to me to have grown hollow.

I was dejected.

My honey instinctively knew the answer.

She took me to an eatery. Not a tourist place; a hole in the wall place, with an Asterix shopfront.

And top of the menu in the eatery is the homeliest, most unpretentious, most quotidian of dishes a Greek knows. Makaronia me kima. Spag bol. Steaming, with mincemeat, and grated white cheese.

Thank you, honey.

You can go back home, after all.

Are you surprised by the amount of very intelligent teenagers in Quora?

Am I surprised?

Well, let me put up my latest reaction when I discovered a correspondent was a teen. And she’s been very, very far from the first:…

> Anyway, with regard to your question: I am seventeen, so only a year older than you.



What is it in the water these days?! I was convinced you were in your thirties.

(That was intended as a compliment btw. But yes, I am shocked.)

Dr Nick. Smooth as ever.

But yes, I am surprised.

There’s a great old Greek expression “your brains have not yet congealed” (δεν έπηξε ακόμα το μυαλό σου), meaning that you don’t yet have the impulse control or “maturity” of an adult. Unfortunately neurology confirms that impulse control doesn’t settle until one’s mid twenties. Which is why Australians will maliciously say that a computer program “crashes more often than a 20-year old in a [Ford] Commodore”.

I will say that I very occasionally espy some elements of emotional immaturity among the intellectual teens I follow here. (And it reassures me when that does happen, that I’m not caught in some Hyperborean simulacrum.) But it’s actually quite rare. Quite astonishingly rare.