Sunday, August 19, 2012

Kindness of strangers.

While keeping up with the chaos of Athens there always seems to be some one looking out for me where ever I go....

Like the two Greek women that were sitting behind me and a new friend from New Zealand on the bus, while we were adventuring to find the beach with really no clue about which stop to take. They heard our concerns and helped us exit the bus when it was the right stop. After getting off the bus, they pointed in the direction of the entrance and said "no fee." They had led us to one of the few beach locations with no entrance fee. Such a simple gesture, but it guaranteed that our beach adventure was a success.

Again, kindness was shown by the travel agent that sold my friend her ferry ticket on the hottest day of the week. We were exhausted and thirsty, only to be showered with good conversation, ice cold water and a nice place to rest while eventually the subject of purchase came up. Even more than that, when the transaction was finished he then took a worry bead charm from his drawer for each of us and told us to take it where ever we go because it will provide us with safety and protection against anything bad.

George, a kind man who serves delicious food late at night, who wants to know where you are from and give you all his best advise about the city and traveling. I remember him from the last time I was here and he only had a traveling cart to sell his food from, but now he has his own restaurant location. When he has finished wrapping up the food and we have finished our conversation, I tried to tip him for all his help. He frowned at me and turns down the tip and when I protested he responds with, "you can not tip me, but we can share a hug." So I gave my new friend a hug and thanked him for his advise and good food.

A street market vender that simply waved me off with a smile, and refused to take payment from me when I tried to purchase a single peach from his stand. Now, I'm not sure if he just couldn't be bothered to ring up only one peach while others are filling bags and bags of items, but I would like to believe that the peach was a kind gesture from him to an obvious outsider.

Most of all, the family that has taken me into their beautiful home, to let me stay here for the week and experience life as a Greek resident. They are patient with my inability to speak Greek, and teaching me new words and culture every day. Without my new friend Alessandro's help I would have been lost in the city many times by now, since we are staying in an area that is completely new to me. They have a beautiful rambunctious dog, Zizou, that he rescued from the streets, and eats up any attention you give her. I have been able to relax, and settle for a while because of the kindness that they have shown me by opening up their home.

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