Friday, October 19, 2007

Adio to Greece, for a While

[Chania, Crete, from Wikipedia Commons]
We've been home for two weeks, and the disc with my photos is running late. Guess I will put them up on Flikr when they come, or at least the ones of note.
The trip is settling into memory for me. I'll journal one more time at home and that will be all for this year. Since blogs (I surmise) should be current, this will be the last posting on the trip, with one more photo from Wikipedia Commons.
I was walking the other day to Whole Foods with Cristina. Talking about Brazil trips for her and Greece trips for me. Is it really the magic and wonder of these places that is so invigorating or does a large part of it have to do with being away from the office and calling your time (and money) your own, if only temporarily? I am sure it is a bit of both. If I were working in Greece, the daily impediments to sanity would wear on my brain, I'm sure. And yet...
When I think about Greece it always comes back to the people. Sure, there are bad Greeks and good Greeks, just like anywhere else. But on a daily basis it seems you are presented with people who are simple in the very best sense of the word: warm, hospitable, without guile. There is a Cretan word for it: philoxenia, the love of strangers. It is considered an honor in Crete to host a traveler in your home, give them the best chair and the best from your table. It is humbling to be received by such people as these.


Mariam said...

It is the same in our culture. In fact, if you refused dinner, it would be offensive. Also, my parents often gave up their bed for our guests. Nice, isn't it?

Sifi said...

Yes, it is wonderful. It would be interesting to study the psychology of this open-handedness on the part of certain cultures. I have a feeling that it contributes to well-being, although it may be rooted in a more basic emotion than simple generosity. I've heard that the handshake may be rooted in finding out if your enemy is holding a weapon. Thanks for your comment!