Greece – she’s hard to hate, and once she’s got you in her spell…

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Excerpt from my, as yet to be completed, up and coming debut novel.

It’s Greece – it’s just, well, *blah* isn’t it?

commented my father.   “Now GO!” he backed towards the exit, looking slightly misty eyed.  “You wait and see, she’ll [Greece] cure you of your dromomania.”

My what?

I enquired, marvelling not for the first time that although I was the one trained to teach English as a Foreign Language, dad was better versed in the English vocabulary.

Look it up on that Internet thing you’re always referring to.  I love you sweetheart, Greece’ll change you, you just wait and see.


Greece is just *blah*, the protagionist’s father is right.
“Apou pou ise?” [“Where are you from?”] the taxi driver’s ask me.
“Anglia” [“England” I reply]
“Ahhh – Manchester United.  Bravo.  But why you here?” they enquire in amazement.

For the past half a decade, Greeks have been conditioned to feel ashamed of their nation…

it is a feeling I do not share (although when I have to experience any public service, I come away bordering on the suicidal, I must admit).  Such is the nature of living in this mostly affable country: bipolar ups and downs.  I wrote a post last year about 7 things to love about Greece, although by the time I’d finished it, the list had grown considerably.

But why do I stay?

After all, the international media would have you believe Greece is in such a state of decline, you should get out, and quick!
Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, but here are just some of the reasons I stay:

1) Because I get this place. She [Greece], despite her craziness makes sense to me (maybe that says something about my state of mind?  Hmm…)

2) Because I feel her magic.  She’s got hold of me with her golden fingers and is gently pulling me into her embrace.

3) Because for the first time, ever in my life, when I step off that plane after being away, I feel as if I’ve come home.

4) Because people greet me in the street, in the middle of the city.

5) Because there is no fear of just being. Whether that’s protesting in the streets (not such a good way of being and not one I’d endorse), or openly hugging and kissing your friends (yes, even men hug men)

and mostly:

6) Because I feel as if I have a huge extended family here.  I am closer to the Greek people in five years than I am my own siblings who I’ve known all my life.

And so, when my father visits, I smile as he sits down with a simple tomato salad and pipes up:
“My God, I can actually taste these tomatoes!  What’s so different?”

It’s Greece dad, it’s Greece. Thank you for opening up this cold Northern European Brit and accepting me into your heart.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Really interesting observations, Sonia. Yes, I have to admit I am in love, with Greece. This country, despite all her frustrations, is hard not to love.
    Trust: that’s a relative observation and a good question…you’ve got me thinking.
    I follow my gut instinct in all areas of life and if something doesn’t feel right – whether in the UK or in Greece – I back off.
    All I can tell you is that since being here, I have opened up more and become a better person. This is due to the people around me and both the aesethetic and emotional beauty of this country.
    Yes, I guess I am in love!

  2. I still have to come over and see you Bex. What I found surprising is how you said you feel at home in Greece once you get off the plane. May I ask if you’re in love?
    One question I have is “trust.” Do you feel you can trust people or not? I know this is a general question but I find there are certain parts of the world where people are more trustworthy than others. Do you know what I mean? Might be a strange ? but I find people interesting.

  3. Bex thanks for your post. I love Greece and found your post to really speak to how I feel a out Greece and the Greeks. Keep up the good work.

  4. I’m glad to see this post is reaching out to people…I write from my heart and write as I find. Of course, things are not always rosy and there are obviously their fair share of problems here, but the positives far outweight the negatives. You just have to shift your focus.

  5. Love, love, love this! You have made me home sick, once again! So true about Greece being magical and how she has this ‘pull’…..and know that feeling so well, when you get off that plane and you know that you have arrived home!! Thank you Bex!

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