Sunday, June 3, 2012


Morning at the Asteria Cafe on the shore: I cannot swim so I am relegated to getting my feet wet on the rocks.  Everyone swims here.  And they count how many times they go in the water.  It's an obsession and almost a competition.  How many "bania" did you do so far? they ask each other.  Clearly a people for whom the sea is part of life, ineluctably joined to its fortunes.  The Aegean is like oil today they say to mean the water is calm.  Undoubtedly a country of sailors. 

After lunch at the cafe we head up for home and a nap.  In the afternoon we stroll down to the center for a bottle of wine to take to dinner and stop for a lemonade (or in my case for a sour cherryade) before heading uphill to Thalia's house.  She's Maria's friend whose boyfriend is a fisherman and goes out a few times a week to catch all manner of seafood.  Today we're having spaghetti with lobster.  Andreas was a sponge diver earlier in life and now lives in Syros where he fishes (for fun) and works with seashells and marble.  It is a good life. 

Tomorrow we sail back to Athens in the late afternoon.  Oh no! the chaos and noise of Athens again after the quiet of Syros, the full moon reflecting on the Aegean at night, the marble streets and steps, the delight of the simple life.  Why do people live in Athens? we ask each other at the supper table.  Why indeed?

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