There is a large tree outside the kitchen window. Ares calls it the dinosaur tree, but I wonder what it really is. Between its leaves I watch clouds float by in the morning and take guess on the day’s heat. I base these guesses on how many leaves I can see blowing, and if I break a sweat over my morning coffee. On the nights I cooked dinner, I said a prayer of thanks at the sound of the tree rustling against the house as I switched on the oven. The center of life here is not much different then back home, but the way in which people enjoy it strikes me. It reminds me of being in Black Butte with my family, where meals are slow, conversation easy and silence at the first bite is a sign of enjoyment. I must admit, the silence is but a breath. The Greeks seem to talk endlessly. It is no wonder their meals are events, shared and drawn out between bites and laughs.
I heard a lot of advice before my 19.5-hour, two-plane change ride to Greece (complete with one scary sprint through the Paris airport. I have informed my mom she is lucky I am an athlete or I would have spent the day sipping wine underneath the Eiffel tower). Among the advice I heard there was one comment which struck me. A lady walked up, touched my hand and held me with an earnest look, “Everything tastes better outside,” she said. I read a guidebook, looked at travel articles, skimmed info sent my way, and everyone missed this very important wisdom. I think I should say it again – EVERYTHING TASTES BETTER OUTSIDE. I have been wondering if this is only in Greece. I will look into it more when I get back to Seattle, but my immediate inclination is food and drinks everywhere are better outside, the weather allowing of course.
We have visited the Parthenon. I gaped at how man’s hands could have managed such impressive architecture with so little machinery. Ares laughed at me. “Slaves,” he said. Still, to be descendant of those slaves, whose hands moved the stones and formed the pillars, would be an impressive thing. We ate on the steps outside the Parthenon, in big bites from cardboard boxes. Our shoulders brushed against each other as we huddled in the shade.
So my advice is to eat outside. It’s very culinary of me, I am sure. Take what you have, the weather is still wonderful in the early part of September and get out of the house. If you can only make it there by yourself you’ll still love it, but if you can bring a friend – all the better!
I have over a week left in Greece. If Ares were here, he would tell me how long to the hour and maybe the minute if he was in the mood. His brain is very technically inclined, unlike mine. There will be more to come…