Crete, nature, tourism

First time on Crete

Winter, 2004.

We took two ferry tickets to Rethymnon just before the departure from Piraeus and spent the whole night on the ship, me trying to sleep in my sleeping bag, he not feeling at ease to do the same. The moment of arrival was almost mystic: that was our very first trip not only to Crete, but also to Greece and to… Europe. It was still very dark, and the dark land of the Minoans was slightly approaching, it was hard to distinguish it from the dark sea. There were only the port lights and very intense aromas, a mixture of the ground, rain, sea salt, and sophisticated odors of the Cretan winter flora. We touched the land of Ariadne, inhaling this fantastic air. Slowly, step by step, we reached the center of Rethymnon and found one open fournos, where we took two Greek coffees and two tyropitas.

At dawn, life of this small town started to move slowly. We did not have any hotel or room for rent reservation. We arrived just like this, unprepared. Me, who by this moment could already link a couple of Greek words; he, speaking funny English. We bought a local newspaper with the local accommodation announcements, studied it for a while and started to call the owners. I felt very nervous and very unsure about our success, about my newly born Greek language, but we managed to find an apartment right in the old center of Rethymnon.

The owner’s name was Chrisoula, she told us on the phone that she would pick us up (we were at the telephone box at the old port). If you’ve ever been to Rethymnon, you probably know its traditional architecture, so we rented an apartment in a traditional house for 15 euros per night. However, it was freezing cold inside, so Chrisoula proposed us to occupy also another room, the one with heating, no additional fees. So we slept in the warm one and ate and watched TV in the cold one.

Chrisoula brought us a precious present: home-made tsikoudia. And after our supper, we drank some of this hot drink and went out for a walk, into – already and again – the dark town with its narrow romantic streets… And that was the best moment… we were laughing, we felt warm, happy like two lost, a little drunk souls, anonyms in an unknown town, on the land – huge island – breathing a powerful mythical aura.

Non classé

My part-time job

Meanwhile, I work at Mavrommatis Trocadéro. As a waitress. Who has to take care of about theoretically 36 people/18 tables simultaneously. I was hired 3-4 weeks ago. Some days are extremely hot hot hot, just because the weather in Paris is still sunny ))) and perhaps all the people are more hungry when the weather is wonderful…

Most of my colleagues are Greek, and we speak Greek, and it’s nice, I practice the language, I integrate into a new community, into a totally new sphere of life… I’m 40 years old in a few days, and it’s the first time that I try myself as a waitress… I seem to myself so fast over there, every day I do 5 kilometers around the tables and clients in 4 hours. Today I’ve run 7 km. Isn’t that a sign? Don’t I try too hard? Should I slow down? We were very few today, and I needed help… The Greek way, it’s the slow way. But we’re in Paris, man… There’s a collision. Running Greeks (forget ancient Olympia!)?! it’s not possible, it doesn’t work, so everything looks like a catastrophe. And it was a catastrophe today, but I am still laughing. The best way to cope with that, is the sense of humor.

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