I am here in this ancient city to oversee yet another move. It’s been a year of heaving stuff. None of said stuff is my own. I’m still trying to figure that out. When I do, I’ll let you know.
My eldest will begin an internship here in Athens on Monday. While she’s at it, she may just unlock the secret room to her father’s character. We all have them. His may just be in the country of his birth. There could be profound truths. Or maybe she’ll just learn how to make the most delicious snack this side of the Atlantic.
Would I drive a motorbike if I lived here in Athens? And forgo a helmet like most who dive in and out of traffic, often with a passenger holding on—far too dismissively it appears to me—in the rear? All ages and sizes and hair blowing every which way? Clearly, this is the way to travel in this heated metropolis. Heat is a character in any summer journey here. So is a hat; floppy or otherwise.
Maybe I’d be a graffit artist. Never have I seen a city so marked up; if there’s a wall, it is full of angry black scribbles, some in strident hues, on every street, corner, and square in every part of city. Little of it is about art, as are the Toronto graffiti tableaux. Rather, it’s about vehemence. Terrorism is looking for a job, says one. 51% of the youth in this country are unemployed; a lost generation in a historic city.
Maybe I would be a cat; this cat on that car reminding us not to neglect siesta time.
Or perhaps one of many roaming about the legs of diners at hundreds of tavernas, waiting for crumbs, or maybe a stray delight fallen from a fat plate of fries. That would be Greek fries. Surely they should be illegal. Potato wedges fried in olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt. That’s it. Olive oil is the god’s nectar. It changes a fast food artery clogger into something heavenly. Greek fries come with everything you order, even if you’re trying to be saintly and stick to a horiatiki salata.