I walked into a seafood restaurant, and a tall, athletic and skinny host named Nikitas invited me and asked if I wanted to make a reservation; I didn't know it then, but he was in the Greek military special forces and was half Cyprian. (Did you know Cyprus is the only other country in the world that speaks Greek? I think a territory in Macedonia also speaks Greek.) He was kind, and he really wanted me to feel at home. Nikitas had such a unique name, it took me awhile to remember it. The invitation set the tone of extending the great Greek Hospitality that Ianis and Marina showed me earlier.
There was another restaurant I went to often for coffee called Taverna Dimitra. The first thing I noticed was that there were two notebook computers, and they looked plugged in and like they were used a lot. I found out that the family had a daughter named Dimitra, and she graduated in computer science. Her fiance is Yiannis. Yiannis was also very hospitable and kind, and I built a relationship with that family. Yiannis is also a computer scientist.
I noticed that they were a happy family and that there was a peace and kindness in their house. And you could see that the children really benefited from a loving and good home. The son was a police officer. There was much to learn here. This is in stark contrast to the stress levels of Los Angeles.
What I love about the people of Crete is that they have time for you. And they want to know more about you. And they want to talk to you. And they want to develop a relationship with you. In Los Angeles, I feel so pressed for time all the time that I don't feel like I have time for others. Here, they make time for you.
I finally made it to a small village by the sea. Crete itself was an ancient kingdom by the sea. I was fascinated to know that I was on the island where the Minotaur once lived. And the people love to come and go, talking about Alexander the Great.
I can't say that there was any eye catching event I experienced at this village. It was quiet. Maybe that's what I needed. And the food was good.
I read a lot, which was one of the aim of my trips. I wanted to get through as many books as possible. I had 6 books, two of which I was half way through. I read on a feminist memoir on a woman who was sexually abused by her father. She gave birth to a dead baby. She was a good writer. I also read on bone healing. Then there was a book interviewing ultra liberal people, like a Black lesbian woman, who was trying to convince the American public it needed to change and admit it was racist. And guess what? The next book was on a civil war general, who fought for slavery. Now, I was reading on the dirty, bribery world of FIFA soccer. I don't think you're going to meet someone who reads this diversely.
People ask me why I spend my time reading on holidays, because I can do that at home. But that's not true. I have so many responsibilities; I really have to get away to make time for reading. I stress that again. You have to make time for reading; otherwise, it won't get done.
I was five minutes by the beach. One thing I didn't like about this village was that there were so many older people and no young single people. These older people were generally British. And I felt like I was stuck in a really large convalescent home.
The lady at the souvenir shop says she loves the British, because they're well mannered. She disliked Israelis and Russians the most.
True. They were well mannered. But I didn't like the culture of these older British people. They were extremely self-absorbed and had lost their purpose for living a long time ago. They were there to get a few more years of excitement out of life, even though they couldn't do much, because their bodies were failing them. And then they were going to die. How sad to witness all this.
The only reason that they could travel was that their British Sterling Pound was strong, and once again, they had lost their purpose in life. Had they been earning Hungarian Forint, they couldn't travel. So, it wasn't anything special that they individually did to have more money. They were just benefitting off the British currency.
They reminded me of the trashy old Americans you see in Loreto, Mexico and throughout Cabo. It's not a good thing to lose your purpose to live and then try to extract your senior years in some beach town only to then die.
Russians are no longer allowed to the European Union. But I noticed a party illegally got through through Turkey. That was interesting. And they were typically Russian, wanting to show off their wealth.
* * *
Later in the week, I texted Ianis and Marina, remember the Greek couple who showed me incredible hospitality and told him where I was. Ianis picked me up. He came from the South and finished his business. The drive was three and a half hours.
Ianis looked tired. Marina was tired. They had worked all day. They picked me up and we went to sit at a cafe on the coastal rocks, overlooking the Mediterranean sea during a red sunset. It was nice we were continuing the relationship.
They ordered ice cream. I ordered a glass of red wine. We talked. We caught up. There was small talk and bigger talk and everything in between.
After Ianis ate the ice cream, he looked so happy. He woke up and became more alert. He also adds: "I really needed that."
Ianis then tells me to meet him on the island of Santorini tomorrow. I have to wake up at 6 in the morning to do it. (Everyone who knows me, knows I'm not a morning person.) I agree. I'll do it. He says I only have to pay for the ferry ride, which is actually dear.
I wasn't planning on going to Santorini. I heard it was expensive. I remember it was an Instagram paradise. Why not?
Ianis paid for my wine. I say I'll see him soon. We say goodbye.
He texts me later not to come, because Marina will not come. I told him, I'll still come. I sleep early.
I ask Nikitas if he ever went to Santorini. He says he has not.
I ask Yiannis, the computer scientist, if he ever went to Santorini. He says, "No. Never. I heard it's expensive."
I slept earlier. Well, I was going to Santorini tomorrow. I didn't know it then, but the Lord was with me wherever I went in Greece.