Do you remember that feeling of excitement and anticipation when something amazing is about to happen and you just can't quite figure out what it is?
This is the emotional roller coaster I used to go through whenever I came to Greece.
When I first made my decision to come to Greece for a year, I was so excited I could have burst. I bored my family to death with stories of the history and the experiences I had had on weekends over there. In fact I am pretty sure my friends breathed a massive sigh of relief when I finally boarded the plane. At last! they cried, no more bloody tales of Kefalonia or Athens, and its amazing-ness. I was totally buzzing, even when the glazed expression took hold of their faces for the millionth time, on I went about nights watching the sun come up at the beach after nights of clubbing, of certain people making an eight hour trip to spend one night with me, talks about the difference in the light, the earthquakes (when i thought someone had got in the bunk below me on one occasion as my friend had left early!), and the constant raving about Greek salad and souvlaki!
So, why do I keep feeling like the magic has gone?
Sure there is always the fact that one is on holiday that accounts for a little of this enthusiasm, but I can assure you that this is not the main reason for my love of Greece. I blame Louis de Bernier, and then I blame the film company that made the film, and then I blame Kefalonia for being so beautiful, with its beautiful people, and then I blame myself for coming to Athens to meet up with friend, but then if said friend hadn't of lived here, I wouldn't probably have ventured to Athens, at least not on my own!
I keep coming back to the same question - why is it so hard to meet people and make friends here in Athens? I might have been under a somewhat naive impression, that as I had one or two friends in Athens, I thought, that in true Greek Hospitality style, they would be there welcoming us with open arms, and introducing us to all their friends while a big old goat was rotating on a spit in their front gardens. And that said friends, would be so warm, and we would all get on amazingly, and that I would at least have a few more friends to go out for coffee with. Surely this is what would happen, its what would happen in England!
As I was battling against the fact this had not happened, a friend of a friend introduced me to his friend, T. T is amazing, exactly what I thought it would be like. He introduces me to his friends, and we go out and have an amazing time, he is the one saving grace!! We also have C and G2, who have also gone out with and had amazing times. Then there is G1, ever so aloof, but fun when he appears. So we have a handful of friends,for which I am so so grateful.
Do you know what disappoints me the most? It's that I have found this experience lacking in so many areas, I don't understand it. It has taken away the magical - ness of a country that i was so in love with. Sure it still has it's history, the food, the beaches and the mountains, but something has disappeared, and I hope and pray that when I get back to Kefelonia that I will love it as much as I ever did.