Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Memories and more

The first time I heard about "my" island was in 1978 when a colleague and friend of mine said: "if you ever have the chance to go to Skiathos, you must go". Most of my Greek holidays, though, started in Athens and from there to many different islands. And since Skiathos didn't have a direct connection by boat from Athens, it wasn't until early May 1983 that I finally arrived on this island by the very first direct flight from the Netherlands.

After about 1 hour I knew this was the place where I should live. I had never thought about leaving Holland and moving to another country but all of sudden I had this feeling that I never had before or anywhere else. I just knew this was where I belong.
It didn't take me too long to decide to leave the safety of my job, my home, my friends and family but it wasn't until exactly one year later, early May 1984, that the company I worked for gave me as my farewell present a one-way ticket to my Dream on the Wave.

And here we are, 26 years later, and I have lived the same amount of years in Greece as I have in the Netherlands. Which brings me to my thoughts of these last few days: am I more Greek or more Dutch? It is probably not possible to answer. My roots are in Holland, I still think of "home" when I mean the house in the little town where I grew up with my family, even though both my parents have passed away. I dare say I grew up with a "typical Dutch" phlegmatic and thrifty mentality, which has been very helpful throughout my life. I still count in Dutch, but dream and think in both languages as well as English, depending on the subject. I remember living in Holland as very well organized and very tidy.

But my heart is here, my life is the Greek life. And that includes all the irrational, passionate, loud, laid-back but not lazy, full of generousity, culinary, musical, theatrical, traditional, never on time but still always just made it, unorganized, dramatic and happy moments of Greek life.
As well as trying to cope with all the sacrifices and changes that lately have been expected and will be expected of us.

The first airplane with tourists of this summer arrived yesterday. As every year it was the plane from the Netherlands. Like the one I was in 26 years ago. I can still remember the excitement I had of starting my new, uncertain, life. Now we are also facing a new, uncertain era and I am trying to feel the same excitement. Of course this time it is totally different. Greece is having issues that the whole world is aware of. And of course I am aware of that as well but I choose to end this post with a beautiful picture instead of more gloom and doom.


Roadartist said...

Aπλα ενα υπεροχο ποστ! Πολυ ομορφα τα συναισθηματα που περιγραφεις....

Ειναι μοναδικο να ζεις κοντα σε τετοιες θαλασσες, νομιζω ολη αυτη η κατασταση που καλουμαστε να ζησουμε, μαλλον θα ειναι πιο δυσκολη για οσους ζουμε στην Αθηνα.. Βλεπουμε..

Απο Ολλανδια;; Θα ηθελα παρα πολυ να παω καποια στιγμη, οντως απο ποδηλατα εκει αλλο τιποτα :)

Dream on the wave said...

Πολύ χάρηκα ότι σε άρεσε το ποστ μου.
Σήμερα ήμουν όλη μέρα μες στον κήπο μου, μια υπέροχη μέρα και έκανα ένα σορό δουλείες. Πριν λίγο μπήκα στο σπίτι, έκανα ντους και άνοιξα την τηλεόραση και είδα τι έγινε σήμερα στην Αθήνα. Στενοχωριέμαι πάρα πολύ για όλα αυτά. Και δεν ξέρω τι να πω.

Anonymous said...

Um...well I don't read Greek, so its a blessing that you read English, Frieda! Your island is very beautiful and its wonderful to have such an indoors, outdoors sort of life, as well.
Writing the narrative to a script today, about the pizza take away store. Am a bit behind but it goes with the Pizza you saw a few weweks ago. How is that diet going??! I need to go on one too.

Hugs from the Northwest of USA, Mx.