Sunday, May 20, 2012


The rain subsides but the clouds remain.  Not an ideal environment for my psyche.  I need sun.  Can't sleep well yet.  Must be the change, the jet lag, whatever...

I take a walk to withdraw some Euros from the ATM.  Streets are narrow in this corner of Athens.  Crowded with cars, motorcycles, I can hardly walk by.  Shop signs scream SALE, EVERYTHING 20% OFF.  Many shops vacant, empty, dusty.  Signs of trouble are evident.  I find an ATM near a spot where African men sell bags and purses on the sidewalk.  Cafes filled with men and women smoking (smoking has been banned for a few years) and drinking coffee this Saturday morning.  I make way back home without much dillydallying lest my mother worry I am lost.

Noisy.  I can hear people talking in the apartments across the street, next door.  Motorcycles, dogs, trucks selling or buying with megaphones.  It's a miracle anyone sleeps here.  A woman's plaintive cries from next door upsets me but my mother assures me she's ok. 

In the evening I go to a restaurant in Exarhia - a funky neighborhood - with my cousin Katerina.  Rififi is the name of restaurant and I tell the waiter that was the first movie I saw when I was about 5 or 6.  We eat stuffed mushrooms, green salad, feta cheese covered in honey and sesame seeds, drink white wine.  And we talk and talk.  She tells me her woes and dreams.  I offer support and encouragement.  I come home after midnight. 

The hours here are confusing: midday meals are eaten around 1 or 2, afternoon is after 8, and night starts at 10.  Naps are obligatory.  I finally sleep well.


  1. Beatrice. This makes me think of when I was in Madrid. But for the hours. Have a good time there.

  2. I missed you on Wednesday at Palabra Pura. I am enjoying your blog. It's refreshing to get a point of view of someone who is actually there instead of those generic news clips.

  3. Thanks for the update!! I'm glad you are finally sleeping well! Abrazos a ti!

  4. You were very young, but I wonder if you remember the silent robbery scene in Rififi where the burglars are drilling through a floor (or was it a ceiling)?

  5. Of course! That was my first movie. I was about 5 or so. And I saw the movie again recently. What a classic! The umbrella to catch the debris from the ceiling. Thanks TOdd.