A Trip to Greece

Bob (my husband) and I have decided to go back to Greece this year, in May, for a visit.

I am so excited to see Greece again and to see my family.

It’s been 15 years since I’ve been back.  Yes, it’s been that long.

It was 2005 when I decided I would go live there for a year. 

My thoughts were to go reconnect with my family, my culture, my language.

With the blessings of my husband and children I packed up and set off for the adventure.

At the age of 51 I was embarking on my first solo travel, and I can say I was feeling very brave about it all.

(As I blog I will be introducing you to my Greek family’s real names…just my family’s, the other we will keep as is in the book)

Arriving I went straight from the airport to my brother’s house in Athens. 

Niko, my oldest brother, was there to greet me, along with his lovely daughter, Emilia. 

Emilia had made the most wonderful Greek dinner and the smell, walking into the house, was like being taken back to the first time, years ago, that Bob and I walked into this house. 

I was reminded of that day, 18 years earlier that I was being reunited with my mother, brothers, and sister.  How nervous I had been until I reached this house and saw my mother standing there waiting for me. 

Seeing her took all that anxiety away, being in her arms was the most wonderful feeling that brought comfort and peace…something I had missed for so long.

But…back to 2005.

After hugs, and kisses, and some tears of joy to be together we settled around the small table close to the kitchen.  Niko brought three small glasses to set among the beautiful tray of cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, bread, oil; a platter of potatoes in fresh tomato sauce; chicken baked with lemon, oil and oregano; and mustard greens.  He poured red wine into our glasses, lifted his glass; as we did the same, and cried out “Yassas!”

We clicked glasses and took a deep drink of the delicious red wine and began to fill our plates with the beautiful food set in front of us.

After a bit of ‘mmmming’ and exchanging satisfied gestures with each other Niko and I tried to communicate.

The frustration of trying to talk with someone, wanting so desperately for your words to make sense to them is maddening! 

We struggled with the few Greek words I had, but it only allowed shallow conversation, of which neither of us were satisfied.

Niko lit a cigarette in frustration, I drank more wine. 

We sat in silence for a long while.  I knew he was feeling what I was feeling. 

I could feel the anger rise in me, ‘why did they take this from me!…my language!’ 

Now, I only had bits and pieces that amounted to simple communication of a basic, ‘please, thank you…etc.’…you get it.

Niko finished his cigarette; I finished my wine.  We sat and gazed at each other for a long time, tears filling both our eyes, then shrugged our shoulders and turned to Emilia who spoke very good English to step in and translate, one from the other.  But even with that, there are things needed to say with our own words, and Emilia’s  own frustration from trying to muster up all the right words quick enough to keep the conversation in sequence, made us all irritable. 

After awhile all we had were our physical gestures.

(the adventure continues…more later)

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