It's all Greek to me
Since I grew up in Astoria it is not surprising that some of my best friends and many of my experiences were with Greeks. It is after all an area that houses many Greek immigrants and it is also a nationality that has many similarities to my Romanians. The 2 countries share a religion and they share a sense of "why do today what you can put off until tomorrow" attitude...and no I did not write that backward that is exactly what I meant. They also tend to be people who love to have a good time, good music, and usually fight over paying a bill (everyone wants to pay and the common joke is that they will spend the money they do not have to make sure everyone had a good time)...they are both loud. They differ in many ways but those similarities are what always come to mind.
In my twenties one of my most memorable trips was to Greece with a group of 10 friends, most of whom were Greek. There was a 12 hour boat "from hell" trip to get to the island of Kos, funds limited and cigarettes, dancing, and drinking were priority spend, and arrived in the middle of the night. There was a very confused hotel clerk who even in his native Greek could not seem to understand that there were boys and girls until we physically separated from one another and then he promptly put us in different parts of the hotel. There was no air conditioning except for the very inventive putting of one's face in the small minibar as needed. There were fraps and naps, love a good frappe. Our girls' bicycle boat trip which turned into the broken pedal boat and push hoping that we were not crossing into Turkish waters adventure of a trip....still annoyed by the guys we were there with who waved at us from the shore while smoking as if we were not obvious in our distress waves (ok so maybe we weren't). There was way too much smoking. There were nights spent running from drunk Finnish men. I remember a very naughty monkey who loved himself in the cafe by our hotel. There was my birthday and what happened in Greece well some of it will need to stay there. The skirts were short and the good times were lengthy. We even took a trip to Turkey where we actually argued with a customs person and told him we had seen "Midnight Express"...as our being Romanian and Greek were not endearing enough qualities to a Turk! Oh yes because she will read this Julie and I did try to barter Elli for a nice pair of leather jackets...what she wound marrying a Turk (super nice guys I might add) in the end anyway so where are our jackets I say??? There was the long, very cold, cigarette "borrowing" from passed out heroin guy who we did not know, boat trip back. All of it great memories and moments that I would not upgrade to a four star hotel. Oh yeah there was "god"....whom Elli and I admired from afar while he worked his magic on the island with every woman much older than us. He never knew we existed and I still have his picture, taken clandestinely as we were watching him daily on the beach!
I also had the pleasure of returning to Greece to see my best friend married there. I am still not so sure of her and her husband's pleasure at finding us (group of friends) in Mykonos, they were on their honeymoon while we were paying tribute to Dionysus. I do know that the hills back to our hotel were up going back after our nights out and the return trip always led to singing and laughs. If you have not had the pleasure of going to Greece well you should ...it is amazing to see things built thousand of years ago still standing majestically and understanding that so much of what we call "civilization" started there. It is a country full of sun and people whose first priority is to enjoy their country. I have come to really enjoy a lot of Greek music...may not understand the words but can definitely feel the emotions. I can bumble my way in Greek to a hello, goodbye, how are you, love you, come here, some very savory curses, and to get myself bathroom, fed, and of course a good frappe. I love my Greek friends and if being Greek is part of the reason they are so amazing well then I am glad it is all Greek to me.....