Sunday, May 20, 2007

Feels Like Home

Norah Jones was even playing down the quay the first night we were here.

Amorgos is a supremely comfortable place for me to be. Is this some past-life familiarity showing itself? Or the fact that I've been here three times in the past ten years, so I've built up quite a bit of this-life familiarity? Maybe, but more than either of those things, I think it has to do with real life sticking around while I'm here.

Greece has a well-deserved reputation for being an idyll, what with the fresh foods (not to mention the olive oil and baclava), sun, clear blue waters, glowing architecture and friendly people. Our time on Folegandros completely lived up to Greece's reputation. Not a single thing marred our week (Ian would say with the exception of a couple mosquitoes, but they bit him and not me, and this is my blog). Here on Amorgos, though, we've gotten lost, it poured down rain for a day, we've had colds, there wasn't any hot water in the shower (it's solar heated and did I mention it poured down rain for a day?), and the power went out. And yet, after we're done emailing at the internet cafe, as we belly up to the bar to pay, the proprietor pulls out a plastic water bottle of liqueur that his dad made (raki flavored with honey and cinnamon) and pours us each a small shot. Or we hike for several hours across the top of the island and down to the other port and then, pleasantly tired, we have a couple Fantas, play some Euchre, then after awhile order some creamy-smoky melitzanosalata (an eggplant dip), all while sitting on a covered terrace looking out over the harbor. It costs us about $10 for our afternoon. "Yasas," we say to the little old men and ladies we pass on our hikes, and they break into smiles. "Yasu, yasu!" they say back. "Kalimera!"

Amorgos feels like home because I live when I'm here. I'm not just experiencing the pleasures of vacation; I'm also experiencing the inconveniences and irritations of everyday life, along with everyone else. And I love it.

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