Patience and Courage

The Greeks mention two qualities when life gets difficult: patience and courage (υπομονή & κουράγιο). If things are irritating and you are stressed and wish for a change in circumstances, your Greek friends and family will say one word to you: patience. Just this one word to console you that good things will come to those who wait. It’s almost a dumb platitude really, except instead of saying, everything will turn out alright, God has a plan, or generally promising things that might never come, they simply remind you that things will change with time.

If the situation is more drastic, if you are feeling beaten down by life, if you don’t know where a solution will come from, you will tell your friends you need to be given courage. And your friends will remind to have courage for the challenges of life. If you aren’t given courage, you will talk about having to find courage. It’s like a sort of keep your head/chin up encouragement in English.

I like the Greek though. They’ve stripped the response down to the bare minimum. There are no extra “empty” words. In life you need patience and courage, when the time comes where things don’t go smoothly you can remind each other of this fact. Of course it can come off empty and patronizing too. I am not naive. However, there is no need to find elegant phrases and there is no denying the value of these two traits.

Right now I need both to an extreme degree and I don’t know where to find them. I am exhausted. I can feel the tension in my face. My phantom pains in my heart have returned and moved to my ribs. I haven’t been able to walk properly to clear my head and get some exercise in over a month. I’ve gained weight and for the first time in my life am using food to comfort myself. I either sleep too much or too little. I can’t seem to clear my head and get started on my work. I feel like I’m driving and have been running out of gas little by little. I’ve been aware for some time of the impending situation, but still haven’t found any sort of solution. Right now my indicator says empty, but instead of being able to pull over somewhere and refuel, it’s like I’ve been asked to find another fuel source to use. I don’t know if it even exists, much less where to find out. I don’t know when the next form of relief will come. I’ve simply been asked to carry on driving without any guarantee for the future, with energy I don’t have. I am being asked to dig deeper than I have before. Even when I was 16 and lost the will to live, I didn’t dig this deep, I just ignored life, and slowly time changed things for the better.

Life comes with no guarantees. This is a great quote when things are going ok and your vacation plans fall through. This means something else when you watch the person you love fail to make headway, despite his many efforts. I can’t change the situation and it breaks my heart, because I don’t know a person more deserving of recognition for his situation and efforts. I don’t know anyone more fair and more loyal.And no matter how many ways I tell him that I am proud of him and all he’s done, until he proves it to himself with a job he is excited about, these words of mine don’t mean anything.

He had the chance for the job of his dreams and neither of us thought it would amount to anything at first, after two long months we unwisely got our hopes up and after they had sent a provisional copy of the contract to look over, they ended up not making a job offer, because apparently it would be too difficult for him to be trained for sales and the technical aspect at the same time. This is a cop-out, which might have happened because the guy sent to test his knowledge refused to warm up to him. My fiancee might not know exactly how these particular machines work, but he has a great head for technical things and he was WILLING to take on both and told that to the guy (who had been keen to hire him from the beginning and perhaps got overridden by the owner) on the phone while he was trying to let him down. It was a huge mistake for the company. No other guy can possibly be as motivated as he was to excel at that job. But that’s the thing: it might be in the end that despite all of our best efforts and supporting each other, that he ends up never being able to find a job where they treat him fairly, where he is excited to go to work everyday, where his boss and co-workers respect him.

I am not just reacting to this bit of bad news. I am reacting to 2 plus years of being without the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am reacting to how our expectations going into this situation 2 years ago have been totally annihilated, our dreams are slowly slipping away, I am reacting to the fact that there is no guarantee that this awful situation of being apart will end anytime soon.  There is no safety net here.

I don’t want to list all the things I hate, because I haven’t cried yet today and that will definitely bring the waterworks, but there are many. Basically EVERYTHING except my university classes and projects.

And I’m not afraid. At least not afraid of the future not turning out the way we envision it. After everything we’ve been through since June 2012 when we started carrying out the first steps of saying goodbye and the move, if we were going to break up, we would have already done it. That’s how tough these last few years have been. As long as we are a couple we can support each other and be happy, because, and I mean this in all seriousness, my fiancee is my joy. This is also something they say in Greek. Η χαρά μου.

I spent many years as a young adult meeting guys who thought I was the love of their lives and thinking the same about other guys who had no interest in me. But I always LIKED my own company, even preferred it to all but my closest friends most of the time. So I was more surprised than anyone how much joy he brought into my life: he brings out my positive side, the ability to laugh at myself sooner than I used to, to forgive myself for not being perfect, to give myself a night off and still be my biggest supporter when I chase after my goals. My life is definitively WORSE every day that we are not together. Don’t get me wrong, we fight and I am sure that after 5 years we will get on each other’s nerves like every married couple, but I am a better person with him, than without him. And the fact of the matter is if this forced separation turns out not to be worth it, I will regret it forever. If I die young, the only regret I would have, are these ridiculous painful, never-ending two plus years. We’ve no had a longer long-distant relationship, than a normal one.

The only reason I am not getting into my bed, pulling the covers over my head and bawling my eyes out to sappy movies, is because he doesn’t deserve a girlfriend who gives up.

Really not to be pessimistic, but the thing is I can’t guarantee anything, I can’t help him and I also can’t keep pursuing my goals and coming along while he stays in the same place. And if nothing changes I can’t fly out home and we can’t get married in February. If things stay the same, we might have to call off the church wedding indefinitely. Is that so bad? No, but it also means not being able to make any plans to SEE my family after so many years. It means enduring more of the unknown and being deprived of the company of those I miss. I am suffering more, in the sense that I am going through all of this out here alone and he gets to see his family and friends on a regular basis. And he KNOWS that with his head, but he has never felt that in his heart.

It was only supposed to be one year and then he was supposed to come, find any old job, move somehow closer than 4 hours away, and help take off the financial burden from my shoulders. And the last bit he has tried to do, even though we are both essentially living off our savings for anything beyond our basic needs. The financial stress was supposed to be temporary, but instead it has become a permanent fixture in my life. Every Euro that I spend on myself is money that I do not have for my future life, my retirement, paying off my student loans, our wedding, visiting my family and friends, starting our own family. It’s safe to say that I am not buying myself new things until my old things break down, but not being allowed to spend anything EVER after 2 years makes me want to tear my hair out. I’ve been wanting to move out from this stupid dorm room since the first day I moved in, but I simply can’t afford anywhere in this expensive city, much less a flat of my own.

Last week I lost it. Completely lost it. I tore apart my room. Threw out empty cardboard boxes, old clothes that I’d been keeping cause I can’t afford new ones, showed him my boxes and boxes of pans and dishes that have been taking up space, untouched for two years, waiting for the day I could move them into the place he found. I recited the prices of all the THINGS sitting in my room, crowding me out making me miserable, by constantly reminding me of the future that no one could guarantee me. I eventually figured that I have invested thousands of dollars in my dreams of a happy future together in Europe. We have been spending our present, waiting for the future, for a future that might never come. Then I listed all the things that I could have spent that money on that would have helped me enjoy the last two years more: seeing family, or friends, being able to afford going out more often with friends here, a better apartment etc etc. I moved things, I tore things up, I carried out load after load until this stupid tiny little room felt bigger.

I was naive. It serves me right. Cleaning out my room is literally the only thing I can do about my situation.

If I had known it would take so long, we could have gotten the legal marriage taken care of so that I could apply for some financial help, as a permanent resident of Europe. I would have planned things differently so that there could be some solutions.

Right now there are no solutions, except that he finds work and comes out here and somehow I convince myself not to stop working and get my papers and research done so that I eventually have a master’s degree. Then maybe if he still hasn’t found a job I will have to move back to Nbg to be with my husband and I will have spent the last 2 years unnecessarily suffering in my day to day life for a future that in the end didn’t show up. That is the ONLY thing I am afraid of and that my dear friends is that thing, which none of you can guarantee won’t happen.

I’m not sharing this to make anyone worried. I am sharing this because maybe there are others out there frustrated with the unfairness of life and sick of platitudes and I’m sharing this because there is no way to talk to any of you personally without breaking down in tears and I want to somehow communicate, how upset I am, without having to simultaneously keep it together.

Patience. Courage. I am trying.

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How difficult is it to become fluent in a language? Intro

My masters program is halfway over. What’s nice is that not only have I realized that it’s definitely the right program which aligns my passion and skills, but I’ve also learned an amazing amount of fascinating theories and research projects, as well as being able to restudy the languages that interest me: Greek, French and Russian. On top of that, after a seven year break, I’ve been forced to re-utilize university level German and challenge myself to face my shortcomings and express myself orally and in writing at a higher level. In one year my German has definitely made some improvements and that was quite shocking after plateauing for about 5 years.

However I’ve also faced a lot of myths and delusions about foreign language learning and what it means to be multilingual. My mistakes in German have been pointed out when I’m just going about my day-to-day business, my intelligence has been in-explicitly called into question and instead of focusing on my ideas, I’ve had people only focus on my language deficiencies. As a former English teacher, I know exactly the type of mistakes certain speakers make and the certain trip-ups the English language provides. I listen to good English all day long, but it comes with plenty of mistakes and lacking the subtly and expressiveness of native speakers. I recognize that I, as a person choosing to live in Germany, am and should be held to a higher standard when it comes to my German, but at the same time, as an English teacher mistakes are noticeable to me, when others might just let them slide and I definitely know that I speak “international” or what I call “teacher English” a majority of the time. I also have been so fed up with the delusions of Europeans who believe that they speak English as well as a native speaker, that I once gave a presentation at a super fast pace, with the English which would be expected in college and had the satisfaction of seeing my classmates semi-stunned in silence and not daring to ask much, lest they be called out for not comprehending something.

I do not feel like it is my job to rob someone of their delusions, but to me, there are two types of people in the world: those who are relaxed about languages, focusing on communicating and sharing, rather than exactly what is being said and those who assume all mistakes can be avoided and reflect innate intelligence or effort (read: prescriptivists). Both groups can include linguists, as well as those who have learned foreign languages as an adult. In the first group they would be cognizant of their mistakes and accepting of those of others. In the second group they assume their foreign language skills are excellent and hold everyone to the same standard regardless of what unique native language and foreign language relationship they are coming from. We Americans, and English speakers in general, generally fall into the first group. We only speak one language and tend to be forgiving of foreigners who speak English with us. (Too forgiving if you ask me, but more on that later). The most dangerous though are those who speak only one language fluently but hold everyone to the impossible standards of perfection.  These people have often been taught a foreign language in school, but failed to make the most difficult transition from beginner to fluent. Thus, they feel even more qualified to judge the deficiencies of others, having convinced themselves there’s nothing more to language than memorizing lots of vocab and that their not following through is in no way a reflection of themselves, but simply a lack of time etc. etc.; clearly if they did want to speak it, they would do so at the highest level. Since being at university I have made instant judgment calls about who I am willing to spend time with. If I meet anyone who falls into the second category, I make absolutely no effort in being friendly. Not because I am a horrible person mind you, but because these type of people generally see me not as a person, but rather, a means to  improving or increasing their opportunity to use English for free. As soon as someone sees me as a language tool, I check out of the situation.

Ah the trials and tribulations of being a native speaker of the world’s lingua franca abroad. Make no mistake, it is a good problem to have. But to be fair, it is my job and no one wants to have to be reminded of their job every waking hour of their life.

People approach language like everything in life, from their experience. I am going to be writing my master thesis about language politics and multilingualism in Europe. There is a huge problem in Europe of wanting to preserve linguistic variety, but unfortunately the people working in Brussels don’t usually include people who grew up in multilingual settings, with family members who had often imperfectly learned the language of the country as immigrants. The majority of Euro-crats at most had a dialect and a standard version to keep apart. If they did grow up multilingual it was probably two “large languages” like a German mom and a French dad, and they went to an English school, i.e. the focus was on a high university level standard. While this in and of itself is a good thing, it does not reflect the multilingual experience of many of Europe’s citizens. This means smaller languages (from minorities from Europe or immigrants outside of it) are neglected and not factored into the discussion of Europe’s language goals. And this in turn is what I encounter. People who have started learning English in grade school and then picked up another language in high school, have never been exposed to the multilingualism that exists all around them with minorities. Which in turn means their concept of multilingualism is very narrow. For them it means getting to a good level of an important world language, from a young age, learning another one if they enjoy it, while it’s easy and nothing complicated like life and feeding a family get in the way, which in turn means they are convinced that being multilingual means speaking two languages at more or less equal levels of competence is the norm and anything less than that is “bad” language use. I mean no wonder they can’t admit to themselves later that their English is not actually as good as they were led to believe it is! That would immediately invoke images of migrants in lower social classes who even if they are bilingual are constantly accused of either not being fluent enough in their native language (i.e. reading and writing skills aren’t as good as other citizens in the countries they come from) or speaking a bastardized form of the national language.

One thing is clear: elites bilingualism in two big languages = good, well-educated, but bilingual minorities = low intelligence, inadequacy, possible identity confusion.

This is all very laughable when you consider that language is a very democratic thing. It comes from the lower-classes and goes up, not the other way around. Why on earth do you think Greece elites fought unsuccessfully for over 100 years to try and make the masses speak something resembling ancient Greek, rather than the language they learned from their families? Many good things came out of it in the end, but their mission was by no means a success.

Here something funny for us English speakers. Does anything sound more posh than the southern London way of saying the word hot or the way people have dropped the r at the end of water? Yes we Americans think that sounds very refined, very chic. Well my friends that originated from the lower classes right around the industrial revolution. So the prostitutes and criminals in a Dickens novel started using these first. How does that make you feel? Wait until 200 years from now, when the monarchy (if it still exists) has substituted bottle for bo*el. A glottal stop no longer stigmatized, but the norm, imagine!

So I thought, since we have such funny ideas about language, especially about how difficult languages are, I would write from a native English perspective and provide examples of the easy and difficult thing about each language I am learning, instead of just providing a blanket statement about how it depends on where you are coming from and what you individually find hard. Maybe this will be useful for other language learners out there.

I would also like to have an outlet for the delusional nonsense I sometimes have to put up with as an English speaker in Europe. I think I talk about it too much, so I’ll just stick it here and have my say, once and for all.

Part 1: German will be next 🙂

Little miss Greek me

So I’ve spent 3 weeks in Greece. I can’t talk about being back at Uni in Freiburg. My brain hasn’t quite come back from Greece yet. I have so much to write in here, but I doubt I will get to half of it. I wanted to write during the seminar in Corfu, but I was using the bf’s old computer and it was so slow, and I was so tired, that I kept falling sleep before I managed to type up anything.

Where do I even begin? I don’t want to discuss the seminar, except to say it was a huge waste of time. And the people at the Greek university that I was hoping would turn into helpful contacts ended up being disinterested and a major let-down. I have a 15-page paper to write and I have no idea how to do it. That PISSES me off. It also certainly comes as no surprise that a group of young (21 year old) students from Athens and Saloniki would be stuck up and think they are better than me because my Greek isn’t perfect yet and that the co-ordinator of the program was busy enough to be unreliable and insincere. But oh well, my Greek improved. And I don’t care what strangers think of me. If that were the case, I would be much less honest here.

But I am not so inexperienced and immature to let a few stupid narrow-minded people upset me and ruin my whole trip. Outside of the (often 8+) hours wasted at the university everyday my time in Corfu was amazing. And I want to talk about Greece.

My friend Giota and her mother have told me a number of times that I am more Greek than many Greeks, or Greek-Americans. How weird it is for me to belong somewhere where I don’t belong. When I am in Greece, I am home. Period. End of story. I am more at home there than in Germany, and dare I say it, even America.

I mean I define my American identity as part of the counter-culture that resists the lull of complacency and technology that distract us from changing the system and tearing off the chains of student debt and political apathy and consumer loyalty that enslave us. Am I American, yes, but I resist almost every label that comes with it. Is that option part of America, of course. I have many like-minded friends, but when I go home I see people that care, but feel powerless and when I am home the influence of my own culture slowly seeps in, until I too begin to go with the flow and stop questioning whether small decisions can indeed change things. I am much more comfortable away from “home”, looking at things with a critical eye and knowing why I don’t belong anymore. I guess some would call it being a europhile snob, but I think I get so angry because I care. All the things I was told and believed in good faith during high school and college turned out to be lies. I am disillusioned with my country. But I will still defend to all the bastards, (sorry but I’ve lost my patience) I meet here who think that just because they’ve learned English in school and have studied abroad during college they know it better than me. (Oh the next time I will have to write about how infuriating it is to belong to a country and mother tongue that the rest of the world thinks they own claim to, but that’s enough for now, before I get too far off topic.)

In Greece I belong. Not in a naive way. I lay no claim to it, like all the Greek-American friends I have. I didn’t choose it. I resisted it, but it always found a way back into my life. Greece chose me people. Don’t try and tell me otherwise unless you want to spend a whole day listening to my whole life story. Because in the end you will have to agree with me. I am not trying to “be Greek”. I am Greek. When I taught the kids, I let them discuss America and hid how much Greek I understood. I was a good teacher, not because I was American, but because I was like a Greek they spoke English with. Some traits we didn’t share. I am my own person, but because their culture was my culture, it was easy to understand each other, even if they never realized why. I asked them about their dance group for instance, and they never realized their teacher had been dancing these dances before they had been born.

And that’s when I knew it was too late. I wasn’t trying to prove it, I didn’t have to show it off. It was a part of me and maybe it was always meant to be that way. That’s another reason this Corfu seminar was so funny. I think the group of students were waiting for me to come up and beg them to talk to me cause they were so cool and I was trying to learn the language, but I wasn’t bothered, because I (no longer) don’t have to befriend every Greek person I meet, especially those I think are spoiled brats and behave rudely.

Here I am then, with so many ties to the land, the culture, the language, the food. I think I underestimated the influence of growing up in the Greek church. I mean for goodness sake, I taught myself the Greek alphabet at 8 years old, so I could follow along in the liturgy and I learned these sounds myself at 10 when I starting singing them in the choir. This language, while not modern Greek was imprinted onto my heart and soul. In Corfu I went to a Wednesday night lenten service, which I was never able to attend in Nbg, because I always had to work, and even after so many years of not attending, I still knew all the words to the psalms/chants, which surprised me even as I was singing along.

Did I grow up speaking the language fluently? No but I grew up hearing the sounds  on a regular basis and it makes sense that these sounds are part of my identity in a way that German never will be, even if it’s not the same sounds that you might hear on the streets of Athens. Just like I grew up as “Greek-orthodox” as all the rest of the 3rd generation grandkids did too. I had adopted Greek yiayias. I danced at Greek fest, dropped out of Greek school, sung in the choir, went to Sunday school, ate and cooked Greek food, was part of youth group and had about 100 Greek words that we used for certain things. My church friends were normal Americans with this Greek thing that we all did together. I didn’t grow up in New York and mostly I was spared from the insecure exclusionary closing of rank that sometimes persists in certain Greek American cultures until I was nearly an adult. After that I swore to never marry a Greek boy and I placed my faith above the culture and that was that.

Even in my first trip to Greece in 2005, I stayed mostly focused on my faith, and not worried about my identity. But it was then that I realized Greek Americans were more than anything else, American and Greeks in Greeks were far more diverse than people at home had led me to believe. And so I became curious to find out who these people really were, that it seemed I’d spent my whole childhood learning about.

For instance on this trip I wanted a spanikopita. I asked a woman at a rest-stop. She made no sound, no movement, but simply rolled her eyes. I was so shocked, I thought, “how rude!”, but by the end of the trip I discovered that an upward jolt of the chin and a rolling of eyes means “no” and doesn’t even require a sound. But if you don’t feel like saying, oxi you can tsk with your tongue and that alone can mean “no” too. Oh how far I’ve gotten in my life with this head movement. I tsked no to the kids all the time. It saved countless hours of useless discussion. I’ve been using it now since at least 2009. And btw “yes” is similar, a slow nod down to the right.

And so I traveled and lived in Greece, made Greek friends, went to the Greek Church, and finally, accidentally got my job teaching Greek kids, met the most hilarious caring guy who happened to be Greek and I guess sealed my fate into this culture.

When I was a teenager I used to be mad at my dad for making my life needlessly complicated and forcing me to be the outsider. It would definitely make things more comfortable for me if I looked the part, or could just say that I am Greek American. Sometimes in Greece when I don’t want to discuss things, I do. But usually I try to keep things honest and short. I can now choose from 3 explanations, or even 4 depending on my mood. My dad’s a priest, although that normally ends with them frustrated that at least one of my parents isn’t somehow Greek. That my boyfriend is Greek, which is the one I use mostly now, since it’s the shortest and most logical explanation. The third involves me being a teacher for 3 years. Sometimes I just say I like the language and my bf tells people I just like Greece, which I hate the most cause it simplifies things too much. No one really ever gets all 3 unless I feel they can be trusted to listen carefully enough to understand it.

This trip was different in so many ways from all the other times before it, because this time the language we used together in front of others was nearly exclusively Greek. It was also coming back to Crete, the place where I fell in love with Greece, the place where I decided belonging to Greece could be a good thing. The first time I ever felt a part of the Greek culture and not just a part of the church.

My boyfriend has always listened to me and accepted my childhood and identity for what it is. He has never passed judgement or made assumptions about the situation I grew up in. He is the first and only man who got to know and fell in love with me for me, and not for what he assumed or hoped I was like. Our love for Greece is a huge part of our relationship. It’s a place we both feel at home. *Funny aside though, the only thing that he didn’t expect was a few years ago, when we were on the island of Skiathos and I bought all my ingredients in a market and made my favorite Greek dishes without any help or recipe. I think he had never dared to hope I was so Greek in that respect.*

Being in Crete was amazing. I hardly need to say it. I showed him all the things that I found so, well magical those many years ago. The lemon and orange blossoms were blooming. I’ll never be able to smell those without thinking of Crete. The tinkling of sheep bells on top of the mountains. The weathered Cretan men who look like they’ve come from another time period. The accent. The snow-capped peaks as you sit on the beach with your toes in the water. The blue of the waves. The soft Cretan cheese. The mountain greens. The chilly evenings. The Cretan folk music guiding you around the dangerously winding roads, hugging the sky. The hawks soaring above the mountains. The shaggy goats coming out to greet you. The Venetian-styled cities. The rocket fuel called raki.

When I am in Crete I think in English and Greek prose. I have so many poems about Crete. All terrible, but who cares.

If one day you never here from me and you think I am dead, go to Crete, up to the mountains and ask someone where the crazy American is, and you’ll find me alright.

We spent the whole week talking about what we wanted for the future. But not about the “romantic us”, about the practical stuff like the values we wanted to hold onto, about the difficulties each country would bring, about how we could make our careers work in each other’s best interest, about the difficulty of raising children in two languages, about where we wanted home to be. Because two people who both don’t belong to the country they choose to live in, visiting the country they both most feel at home in awakens a longing that is hard to explain to anyone who has not experienced something like that themselves.

I would give up so many things to live in Greece, my bf would not. But we haven’t completely given up the possibility either.

But Crete wasn’t all. I spent two weeks in Corfu (Kerkyra). The people there were so friendly. I had so many nice moments where people patiently let me speak in my slow Greek, sincerely helping me choose gifts for my niece and nephew in a warm fashion. The neighborhood priest told me the time for liturgy. The women in the church got an extra candle for me to hold during the service when I was standing without one. The shopkeepers called me “my girl”, “my doll”, “my love”, “my beauty”. (Sure it’s like the dear or hun in America, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it!) The people in the neighborhood smiled back when I was smiling. I made jokes about my bad Greek that were sometimes funny. I got to speak to adorable little kids running around without their parents giving me dirty looks. I found a great place for vegetarian pitas, where the owners made me and the German girls I brought with me feel welcome. I found homemade pita place for breakfast where the sisters running it got so flustered that I wanted to bring my plate in. I started recognizing the people there in the city. I had long conversations with a man in a gyros stand, waiting for my fries about the crisis, and later in the week when I passed by the shop, he was standing outside and waved to me as I walked by. (This might seem normal to Americans, but in Germany it’s normal to sort of ignore people on the street after one interaction). I also had a long conversation with a man in the student cafe who told me about good dishes to try. Both were just friendly normal conversations that I miss so much in Germany. In the student cafeteria, the woman offered to serve up the lenten octopus dish when at first I only wanted some beans. The woman in the bakery gave me an extra little bit of bread every time I came in.

I had at least a hundred little stupid conversations, which weren’t always friendly or nice, and I had to be really active in making sure all these interactions took place in Greek. But every interaction brought my language skills further, and even though the people spoke far to quickly for me at times (the accent on the island is sped up, popularly attributed to the Italian occupation) they were not arrogant when I asked them to slow down or repeat it. I felt welcomed and at home by the people of the island. I feel at home in Crete, but that’s sometimes despite the people.

I got stuck in Crete one extra night because of all the strong winds and I laughed because Crete wasn’t ready for me to leave just yet. Then I went to Corfu and was blown away by the people and shocked by how quickly I had settled in in two weeks. You can put your body on an airplane and take it where ever you like, but your heart follows different rules.

Saying goodbye to Irakleon

Saying goodbye to Irakleon