Friday, June 1, 2012


Samantha's story is a bit like mine.  Born and reared in Australia from Greek parents, she came to live here at the same age I went to live in the United States.  We are Southerners.  We meet in Syntagma Square this morning to watch the changing of the guard and then head on to the cafe behind the Numismatic Museum.  She didn't know about it. 

We talk about our lives for a couple of hours.  She's a fashion designer and, believe it or not, makes a living that way.  Creative people have to be creative in many ways.  She wants to write poetry she says.  I give her a few pointers, suggest Writing Down the Bones, offer her my help. 

After she goes her way I walk around downtown for a little while but the sun, the people, the cars, the motorcycles, all drive me mad.  I think I'm beginning to understand why everyone here is consumed with the travel fever.  It's one of the major topics of conversation: where are you going next,  where have you been.  It seems they all want to get away.  I assume it's from Athens and its chaos.  They rapsodize about running away, visiting far away places, or simply escaping to the islands.  I don't blame them.

When I return home it's nap time and that's sacred.  Later I go for a walk to the Square by myself and sit at Syllabi Cafe to read Andre Aciman's book and jot down notes, quotes, thoughts, ideas.  The cafe is in a narrow alleyway with no cars; therefore, quieter than most other cafes on the sidewalks.  I enjoy my solitude, my French coffee, the passersby. 

I must go home now and pack for tomorrow's journey to Syros.  The hydrofoil departs early at 7:25 a.m.  I've never taken a hydrofoil.  There is always a first time for everything.  And I've never been to Syros.  More later from the island.

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