Yesterdays' post made me realize that I never really did a post mortem on the Greece trip, which is something I wish I had done a little closer to returning home from there. But here's the opinion a couple weeks out...
I really, really liked Greece. Its...my pace. Now, this should be tempered with the fact that I really, really wasn't that excited about it as our destination for the big family vacation. I wanted to see the big cities in Europe - London, Paris, Rome, etc.. Or at least just bum around Italy. The idea of Greece just didn't ring my bell, but the 'rents were excited so I sucked it up and tried to get excited about it.
I didn't. And next thing I knew I was there, I was tired, and I was annoyed. I had arrived a day earlier than the folks and had no idea where to go or who to meet, because mom had all that info, and I had been expecting her and the rest of the fam to be on the same flight as me, before they missed their connection. But Chris finally found me and did the smartest thing a Greek guy could do, he took me straight to the best kebab Greece has to offer.
I have been lusting for said kebab all day long today. I realized 2 things - I didn't have enough of them while I was there, and I neglected to take a picture of one, in my furious bouts of greco-gluttony. The kebabs are a good standard-bearer for the rest of the dining fare offered in that country. I'm not huge on a lot of the seafood offerings, but I can't really remember a meal there that I did *not* think was fabulous.
The Greeks as a whole are fairly welcoming to Americans, in that sense that an arrogant American might welcome a well-meaning foreigner - happy to help them but generally assuming that this foreigner is ever-so-slightly a bit of a moron. Maybe we're all right, in the end. But the ones I dealt with were plenty nice, even if they were usually in a position to take my money in one way or another.
Greeks enjoy their late nights and late mornings, and as a whole I don't get the impression that they work very hard at all. They do however seem to maintain an equal or greater stress level as those societies that do in fact work a good deal harder. They just spend their afternoons sitting around drinking coffee and smoking and discussing how stressed they are. Of course I exaggerate, to a degree, but the point remains. Perhaps its the way they drive that contributes to this.
The islands, well - the islands were simply delightful and I fully plan to return and spend much more time there. Athens I could take or leave, but I will make a point to take the kebabs if I'm ever back. Thesoliniki I would like to spend a night of clubbing in, that's about it.
And if I'm ever back I plan to have my motorcycle license before I arrive. And I'd like to speak a good deal more Greek. Seemed to come off like the kind of place that you could be a friend with any stranger if you only knew the local dialect.
So there's your rave review of Greece. I was wrong. It happens, at times few, and far between. I remain, ever the skeptic.
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"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."