I was thinking about my recent holidays in Greece and how to blog about it. I was going to separate it in two different sections, one that will focus on a personal level and the second that will focus on the national news. However, since I am still in a good mood and I don’t want to ruin it, I will not blog for the time being about Greece. Let’s just say that things are not going that well. For now the country is not making headlines but that doesn’t mean that things have progressed much.
Forgetting all about that, I’d like to concentrate more on my own holidays in Greece. If I could use just Madonna’s songs to describe it, I’d use the following:
I was so excited at first about going to Greece. I hadn’t been there since last summer and I wanted to see how my parent s and friends are doing! I still have some dear friends from my university and school years who I try to see every time I visit. I also know that my parents, besides some differences in opinion we might have, are not getting any younger and I am grateful for the time we have and spend together.
According to Greek Orthodox customs presents are exchanged on the first of January and not on Christmas day. They are brought by Saint Basil, a Saint who was famously a protector and carer of the poor and derelict. Of course the Saint’s image has been affected by the Coca-Cola red clothed white bearded Santa Claus but he still arrives on a different day. So, the first days of my holidays I spent trying to find small gifts for my relatives I would see on the New Year’s Eve feast.
That feast traditionally takes place each year in my aunt’s (my mother’s sister) great house outside the city. It starts around 9 in the evening until the early hours of the next morning. It includes large portions of food, alcohol, singing carol when the year changes, exchanging gifts, cutting the traditional New Year’s cake and then playing some board or card games. This year there were 24 of us and the meal lasted for more than 2 hours. I go there almost every year and although the family tradition does bring some warmth in my heart, I find it a bit boring. When I was younger I was very excited about the jokes said on the table, the gifts and the anticipation of the coin in the special cake. (There is a coin in the New Year’s cake and whoever gets the piece with it, is said to be lucky for the entire year.) However, now I realise that the same jokes are said every single year and I’ve learned that the coin in the cake is a fraud. Its location is marked according to the cake decoration and is given on purpose. I am just mentioning it as an example to say that the magic is gone but fond memories still remain. That is why I still attend these gatherings.
My parents were happy I was there. My brother had visited them during Christmas and they were happy I was there the New Year’s weekend. However I feel that the distance between us in a personal level grows bigger instead of growing smaller. My father asked me the first day of my visit about my new job. We had a lengthy conversation about it but nothing else. He seemed very pleased about my progress regarding my professional life but there was nothing else to talk about. During the ten days I was there, we only made small talk and tried not to be alone in the same room. I wasn’t expecting much to be honest since I know how he can be.
What surprised me though was my mother’s behaviour. Since she doesn’t want to contradict him, she kept her distance as well. She only asked me about the new house once. The big elephant in the room was to be ignored. I tried to give her some opportunities to start a conversation but she wasn’t accepting. For example I told her a funny anecdote of my life with JJ. I told her how he’s trying to make eat more fruit that I forget to do, expecting her to be happy since she always complains that I don’t eat enough fruit. But the reaction I got wasn’t the one I expected. So, I dropped the subject and didn’t talk about it again.
In that sense the Madonna song I chose is not right. Having my father preach me would mean that he’s keeping the communication bridges open but he doesn’t. However, it’s a funny little old song which I haven’t heard in ages, so I picked that. Truth to be told I’m over feeling bad about my parents. They have their beliefs and I have mine. Probably in the future I will even stop thinking about it and simply accept the on-going situation as it is.
Anyway, I’m back in London now, back home where I am the happiest. This is how I felt when I came back: