The Greece Diaries
a… was it 8 hours? Anyway, after a flight that seemed to have lasted an
eternity, we land at Athens Airport. Not much fuss – everyone goes in one
direction and the place is near empty. A bit of confusion about where the
luggage collection point is… but soon sorted out. I don’t want to spend
money for a trolley, so I exercise my muscles instead.
A sigh of
relief when I exit and find Andreas waiting (patiently?) for me. A brief hug
and he takes the load from my fatigued arms. Rather a strange meeting – I
feel a bit embarrassed for not using a trolley, and for probably looking like
something the cat dragged in. (no make-up in case I fall asleep on the plane
and smear my face with mascara!) I am also sweating like a pig and in dire
need of a toothbrush!
the building and start an extensive search for his car. I am starting to
really like him, for the simple reason that he is more scatter-brained than I
am!! We highjack a seemingly deserted trolley and eventually find his car half
a mile further in a different parking area.
I get in
at the wrong side of the car, fully expecting to be in the passenger seat, and
he teases me for wanting to drive him home! Some more giggles about the
confusion, followed by some nervous chatter about all kinds of shit just to
keep talking and ban the awkwardness.
“home” – a cozy little flat with the basics and crisp clean sheets. I
get a chance to rest at last, and we pick up some lunch later in the day. I
hate bikes but I find myself mounting a bike with this (theoretically)
complete stranger. I quickly decide that I can’t let an opportunity like
this pass me by – I may never again get the chance to get this close to a
perfect body! No helmet – like everybody else in Athens. We maneuver through
some busy streets to a nice little place and have an awesome meal. We are
starting to communicate more sensibly, covering some “real” subjects like
the average East London salary, and I am feeling a bit like a prisoner on
trial, but I survive the interrogation and we are on our way again. Typically
Andreas-style… we “loose”
the bike. He can’t remember where we parked it, and… all the exits look
alike, so I am lost as well. We walk a little, make a call to South Africa,
and find the bike at last… have coffee with a friend of his, and then brave
the streets again. I realize I am starting to enjoy the biking. I feel kind of
safe now, and I really don’t mind holding a body like Andreas’. I mean…
he is kind of sexy, I admit. Better looking than his pics, for sure!
at the ancient stadium, climb a million steps, boots and all, and admire the
view from the top. I am already used to him taking my hand casually to help me
down the steps, or holding my waist to guide me across busy streets… so very
innocently natural… are all the Greeks like that?
home. I get more sleep. Then a nice shower again and upstairs for supper where
I meet his parents. They can speak as much English as I can speak Greek, but
they are really cool people. Andreas and I sit and chat till early hours when
my eyes eventually look droopy enough for him to send me “home”.
I wake up
at 11:00am – just in time to have a shower and slam some clothes on my body.
Andreas knocks on my door with milk. He looks absolutely gorgeous in his black
skintight t-shirt and jeans but I manage to contain myself. We go out to eat
breakfast, but we end up having coffee and only eat at about 4:00pm. He seems
to suffer more than I do with the language barrier, but we can hold a
conversation. All the time I wonder if he is not perhaps a bit embarrassed to
be with me, since he really looks about 22 years old, and I can just imagine
what I must be looking like after riding on the bike all the time – probably
like an old hag.
forget to call Manos. I am a bit disappointed in Manos for being so “cool”
about my being there – as if he couldn’t care a shit about meeting me, the
great Tiamari, after chatting online for more than a year! We arrange to meet
at a subway near the University. Andreas takes me there to make sure I am
safe. At least someone cares! I feel a slight magic between Andreas and me,
but I realize that it is only his natural way of casual bodily contact that
affects me. I am thinking about what Peter predicted about me and Andreas
hitting it off, and I know that my mind is playing tricks on me.
excited about meeting Manos, but I somehow don’t even care so much anymore.
Anyway, I have a feeling that I will be disappointed.
nuts, when I see Manos I know that I was right. He is everything but
attractive, and he is nothing like his net-personality at all. Andreas strikes
up a bit of conversation with him, then says goodbye and off he goes, leaving
me with a complete stranger that I’ve known for more than a year…
a huge head and an even bigger nose. His teeth are miles apart. He has
beautiful blue eyes, but nothing else. It’s a weird situation – like I am
with this giant kid. He is rather tall for a Greek guy, but he gives the
impression of being an overgrown child. I feel sorry for him, cause he was
right about him being… well… not attractive.
We go to
this quiet coffee shop. He is suddenly all over me, but I manage to politely
calm his hormones. He must have told me a million times online that he would
never marry a foreign girl (haha) yet he assumes that we have some sort of
relationship now that he lays eyes on me. He isn’t only funny-looking, but
he seems pretty dumb for an 3rd year Architecture student!
suddenly get a bit sad about the whole thing. I mean… This idiot was the one
who set it all in motion. He was the guy who sent me those first pictures of
Greece and the map… he helped me with my first Greek words – he
contributed positively to my life in so many ways, yet he is nothing like I
imagined. We couldn’t possibly stay friends when I return to South Africa,
which means that I loose a net-friend simply because I met him for real!
We talk a
bit, and clear some misunderstandings. We leave the coffee shop with a
tentative appointment for tomorrow evening. Of course it won’t happen, cause
Andreas has already made reservations for us (and his “fat friend”, whom
we visited earlier) to go see some popular Greek singer tomorrow evening. I
don’t think Manos will call so I don’t bother to tell him about it.
Anyway, we’ll see…
get back to the subway Andreas is there, waiting for me. Andreas and I go
home, have some more “meaningless” discussion about religion and politics,
and I eventually go to bed.
I wake up
at 09:00am feeling ok. I think I am slowly starting to get into the Greece
routine. I remember Manos saying yesterday: “I’ll phone you at 7 tomorrow
afternoon”. Afternoon!!! Seven o’clock is EVENING! Anyway, it’s a different country, different rules. So…
afternoon it will be!
why my eyes are still swollen. I better get rid of it soon, else Andreas will
say I have to “believe” it away. Yesterday we had this loooong discussion
about religion, and I am at my wits end about it. My religious beliefs may be
a bit strange, but I believe what I believe, and I can’t explain everything!
At least it gives him something to tell his friends, something to giggle
about. He is still a nice guy. And way too attractive for his own good!
thinking about Peter again. I wonder if he’s ok. He has his own family and
now also mine to look after, but I guess he’ll be fine. He was wrong about
me and Andreas though. We are not hitting it off. I like Andreas and I guess
he likes me too, but he is not in love with me and, even though he is kinda
cute and has this amazing body, I am strangely not in love with him either. At
least I don’t THINK so. I don’t suppose anything will happen in the next
few days. Athens is great, but not particularly romantic in the ordinary sense
of the word.
had a shower and got myself presentable for the first official night out –
some popular Greek singer apparently. Not that I care much where we go or who
we see. I just really enjoy being here, and Andreas is great company. A bit
too attractive, but I am staying sane.
to the Acropolis today. What an amazing place! Big. No! Correction: MAJESTIC! And as ancient as you can get. We just
took it slowly, enjoying the “journey”, so to speak, while the
“tourists” came and went. It was really a once in a lifetime experience.
And I wish that Sean could see it also one day! He likes history. I don’t
care what Peter says… Athens is worth seeing. It’s big. It’s alive.
It’s old and new. I love it.
the nicest part about the Acropolis, I must admit, was the company. There is
something about Andreas. And the way he playfully grabbed my head when I
teased him today.
way back we got lost. We drove around and around and I wished we would just
never find our street again. It’s funny – I am getting slightly addicted
to the biking. Why? I never used to like bikes.
is onto me again about my weird religious beliefs. Goodness! What is he trying
to achieve? Probably just making fun of me. Probably don’t care two hoots
about what I believe.
called at 07:00pm sharp, just like he said he would. So he decided to show
some interest after all! I wonder if he is expecting some sort of medal for
that. I won’t see him tonight. I am “busy” haha. Ok-ok – I am still
pissed off with him for playing “hard to get”. He was supposedly my
“special friend” and… after all these months of chatting I expected a
bit of a more enthusiastic welcome from him when I arrived. If it weren’t for Andreas I would
have been completely stranded! It’s no good trying to make up for it now. He
ruined it that first day. In fact, he ruined it more than a month ago, when I
needed help with my travel arrangements and he had every excuse in the book
not to get involved in it.
Frankly… we met. If I never see him again, or
never talk to him again… what
difference would it make anyway? Enough about Manos!
I wake up
at around 12 in the afternoon (or should I call it “morning”?) I decide to
get up before Andreas come down and catch me looking like a granny on drugs.
night it was! Very up-market club with a crowd of modern Greeks acting like
pre-historic animals. Ok-ok – not quite. But that they are a little crazy… there is no doubt of.
And it is
catchy. I may not have danced on the table, or fondled the artist, but my
mind… well… I lost it. Temporary. (I hope!)
Andreas doesn’t keep his sensible distance…
there’s gonna be trouble. For sure! The guy is way too good-looking,
and I am far from home.
becoming pretty clear that I could never be happy going back to my life the
way it was. I don’t know about other cultures, but these people have a
passion that I’ve never seen elsewhere. Most definitely not in my home town.
They don’t try to hide their feelings. They openly admire. Even the men
don’t shy away from displaying their adoration of their favorite singer,
even though he is a man, showing their affection by touching him… kissing
him even! What a weird bunch! They even throw carnations onto the singer to
show their appreciation. No, not one or two carnations! HUNDREDS of them!
Piles of white flowers gathering all over the stage. They sell them by the
basketful. What a terrible waste of flowers… I suppose… or is it? Am I
starting to go crazy too?
certainly tasted heaven. Andreas’ kiss only lasted a second, but it knocked
me right over. The warm sensation of desire spilled through my body like lava,
and it wouldn’t subside. His voice was hoarse when he spoke, and it drove me
crazy. Oh, how I desperately wanted him to make love to me last night. Why
wouldn’t he do that?
* * *
01:30pm. I am sipping on a cup of
coffee that I slammed together with what I could find in the kitchen, and some
coffee creamer that landed in my bag on the plane. I am thinking now that I
should have collected more of these little sachets. Not that it tastes
anything like proper milk, but still…
sipping this stuff partly to get some warmth into my body (the effects of the
shower having worn off by now); partly to get some much needed caffeine into
my body (me being used to probably 12 cups a day and now getting only one!)
and of course partly to fight boredom. I am considering the possibility of
venturing out on my own but I don’t particularly feel like that kind of
adventure right this moment. Shall I go upstairs and wake Andreas? Maybe
he’s not even at home…. Haha
- I bet he is sleeping like a baby! Whiskey has that kind of effect on people.
And, we did only get home around 5am! (is that morning, or is it night?)
why he was in such a hurry to get away from me last night. Did I look THAT
bad? Was it unbearable to stay in my presence? Was he scared I would rape him?
remember his words, hoarse, almost a whisper, right after his mouth touched my
soul for that brief moment. He asked: “What are we doing?“ And I answered:
“Yes. It’s crazy”. What I really wanted to do was to beg for more, but I
couldn’t exactly go on my knees right there in the night club, so I settled
for trying to hide the fact that I am completely in love with him.
he simply decided that it was a crazy idea, and that’s why he didn’t want
to get close. Whatever it was, he sure covered those steps in a record time!
Roadrunner has nothing on him!
minutes to 2! I am going to wake
that fader up!
* * *
4:15am and we just got home from a birthday party – on the bike! Andreas
seemed pretty tired, so I am rather relieved to be home in one piece.
happened. Manos “dumped” me – on the phone. He basically gave me a hard
time for not going with him last night, said he can’t see me tonight, and
told me he doesn’t like me right now. I suppose I was supposed to feel bad.
Too bad I didn’t! Then he called again to ask if I needed anything and told
me we wont speak again. Am I supposed to be upset?
is playing hard to get. He has me right where any man would want a girl:
alone, dependant on him, and horny! But he runs from me like a scared rabbit.
It can’t be that he doesn’t like me, unless he is a fucking good actor.
And I know enough about his past to realize that it can’t be because of
innocence either. Why he is running, I don’t know, but I appreciate it with
all my heart!
* * *
after midnight and I am at “home”. Wide
awake, since I am used to going to bed at 5am lately. I am sitting in bed,
having cookies and milkshake. Yeah, the milkshake mix was a pretty good idea
after all. Not that I really NEED it, since I am being fed at regular
intervals, and I am never hungry… but
I just felt like a glass of the stuff now and… well… the cookies is just
to satisfy some craving of some sort.
up a mountain today – a scenic drive with the bike, followed by a stiff
walk. There we sat chatting on a bench along the road for… hours? How long?
I have no idea. I only look at my watch in the morning and at night or…
whenever I am in my room. During the little trips I completely forget about
and I had a long talk about some stuff. Not so much religion today, or maybe I
am just getting used to talking about religion and I don’t notice it
explained why he is avoiding me. Mmmm, I don’t think it should be called
“avoid” really, but… he said… I think what he means is that he cares
for me, and… just in case we
ever hit it off, he doesn’t want to spoil it now by taking advantage of me.
He said it should be all or nothing.
is good. Isn’t it? What do I want? I didn’t come here to decide about the
rest of my life. I came here to have a nice holiday, so I could go back and
THEN re-think my future. Maybe I should stop fighting my feelings for him and
give it a shot. He has it all. (Except for the answers)
friend Manos called again - said he changed his mind about not speaking to me
again. I don’t particularly want to see him but I feel a complete fool for
coming to Greece and not having anyone else to visit, after making such a big
deal about all the Greeks I’ve been chatting to. I am still trying to
impress Andreas for some reason. It’s a pity I have to go out with idiots to
show I am not “desperate”. Wondering about my sanity, I agreed once again
to see Manos.
I spent a short and very boring time together, mostly trying to find parking
for the 3-ton truck he fetched me with. He isn’t a bad person – only…
not very exciting company. It’s like a complete stranger I just happen to
know for a long time. I am glad I met him though – it is an eye-opener. This
internet stuff is really a funny business. You think you know a person SO
well, but once you meet him in person, it’s like it was all along the wrong
person – a fake! Manos is a whimp compared to the person I thought he was.
Andreas is something like a … like a god I guess…
* * *
was a knock on the door, and it was… him! Did I sleep? No, of course not.
It’s only 1:30am – of course I am awake!
of Andreas, since we were alone, he made sure that he stayed in the far corner
of the room. He is sure funny about that. We are on the bike together all day,
getting pretty close, feeling comfortable to touch body parts in public… we
even acted like hooligans at KFC today, practically smooching!… but once we
are alone it becomes a total taboo.
we discussed religion mostly for two and a half hours and then he went up to
bed. (or shall I say he “escaped” to bed)
like a ridiculous game we play. I can understand his explanation. All or
nothing. But I can’t understand his reasons. When I met him online he was
different. He was the wild type that only “used” women. The type who
believes women are stupid. I fully expected him to do the “wrong” thing.
Or… at least… to try and persuade me to do that. I got here with my
defenses up, found they didn’t have to be up at all, took them down, and now
I am chasing HIM! This seems to be the story of my life. I run, or I chase.
And I usually run when I’m chased… and chase when I don’t have to run.
explanation for his behavior is true, then I REALLY can’t understand him.
What does he see in me? I am six years older, and I know it shows. He is very,
* * *
again. By now I am used to the bike, and actually looking forward to the
outings. I am wearing less and
less make-up because the wind on my face and make-up doesn’t exactly
“mix” well. I am thinking that it’s a pity I even bothered to bring any
dresses or shorts, as I would have been fine with jeans and t-shirts and one
good jacket, tekkies or boots, no make-up, no hairdryer and no bloody tooth
brush, for I simply don’t find the time to brush my teeth!! Ok, maybe not
* * *
Andreas came down and we went out.
we went upstairs for supper and then with his London friend to some very
up-market pubs. I must say that I am amazed at the level of their lifestyle.
“Class” is an understatement.
we went by car for a change. I’ve done it all (almost) this week:
“Aeroplano”, car (“αυτοκινιτο”) (haha), taxi (“ΤΑΞΙ”), subway train, and even a truck!
Oh, don’t forget the bike of course. I haven’t done a bus yet, or a boat,
so there is still room for improvement.
and I are still playing the “game”. I’ve given up now. I can’t make
him a “follower”. Or maybe I can. I have one more week. But he is a bit
more clever than I expected, and he worked it out. He seems to think that he
can read my mind, and I am starting to worry that he might be right. He is
certainly right about me always trying to expand my list of “followers”,
and he won’t budge. I can see that he has a hard time doing it, but he
manages to keep his head. I like him. He is a hard nut to crack. A worthy
opponent. But I believe he will
give in eventually.
seem to convince him about my health theory, and probably about more than
that, so… adding him to my follower list can’t be too difficult. Of
course… the truth is… I’d be more happy if I CAN’T add him. It would
be refreshing to find someone strong enough to follow through. To meet my
again… If I do… and he is “the one”… my whole life would have to
change drastically. So… I hope it won’t work out. I really hope it
checked my watch – 4:30am – no wonder I am so tired! Ora yia ipno!
I am sort
of awake now. It is just after 11:00am. I am feeling particularly lazy this
“morning” (!!) so I am having milkshake and cookies to wake me up a bit.
My thoughts are predominantly around Andreas. I am considering just dumping
the little game-thing and show him exactly who is the boss here. Of course it
would be really easy. I just have to be myself – haha. But it sure would
ruin the fun. On the other hand, if I keep on playing this game, I might get
caught into it fatally. What if he beats me at my own game? Surely he won’t
have a chance if I really put my mind to it. I can be very strong indeed. But
I am not sure that I want to win this game after all. For if I win, I also
loose. I like a guy who can handle me, and it seems like he may have what it
takes. Maybe I must push him even harder… try to break him completely…
test him in the worst possible way… (if I can figure out how to do it) so I
can be 100% sure he CAN really handle me. If he can’t, I’ll go home and
continue my life as usual. If he can… I have a big problem. Then I have to
really learn this @#$%&* language, and move house and home to this
far-away place full of crazy Greeks, and start a whole new list of followers
(ok, that last one was supposed to be funny)
* * *
2:00pm. Andreas has probably woken up by now, and will come down shortly so
I’m not going to bother thinking of going upstairs. I washed my favourite
pants and some underclothes… I blow-dried my hair… I am taking it easy.
writing routine is becoming a little addictive. I wonder why I ever stopped
keeping a diary all those years ago. Of course I know why. Because my life was
never private anymore. And I needed to keep some part of it private.
Completely secret. Only known to myself. That is the problem with
relationships. You loose yourself. You become what the other person thinks you
should be. Playing the field is safe. You always have space. You can go home
and be yourself. You’re not under constant observation. Being with someone
is like “Big Brother”. One is constantly being watched. Constantly
judged… questioned… it’s emotionally exhaustive.
Who do I
really miss right now? Hmmm……
* * *
4:14am. I just came down from Andreas’ apartment. We had a long serious talk
about life and relationships and possibilities and us…
Did he look gorgeous today!!! After almost a week of not shaving, and wearing
t-shirts and jeans, he walked into the door today, looking like he stepped off
the cover of a magazine! Am I attracted to him because of his looks? Is it
because of his confidence? Is it the way we are able to talk openly about
important matters? He is a fantastic guy. But am I maybe just attracted to him
because he refuses to make love to me? He is making marriage plans for me and
I am staring in wide-eyed wonder…
get some sleep.
day, and I never got a chance to write.
I woke up
late yesterday, and the day seemed a bit shorter. I saw Manos again. What a
bummer. Andreas and I was late, and he almost had a baby about it. He was
completely pissed off. Said I don’t show any interest, and that I’m not
worth it anyway haha. Actually I was a bit offended, but I couldn’t exactly
get up and leave – I’m in the middle of a vast city and I’d be lost in 2
seconds! So I gave him an audience, and made a private vow not to meet with
him again. He can’t really upset me anyway, since I don’t feel anything
for him. I just wish I could one day drop this nice-girl attitude and tell
people what I really think of them.
(why do I keep saying “anyway”?) the rest of the day was great. Andreas
and I went out with Mildos and Dimitris, watched a video, and ended up sitting
alone in the dark and whisper… mostly discussing the reasons why we aren’t
doing anything more serious than whispering in the dark!
is really a fantastic guy, and more sensible than I could have dreamed of.
he have to be Greek? I don’t want to have to learn this crazy difficult
language. It was supposed to be a hobby. Just a hobby! Just to know a little
bit of Greek… maybe practice it a bit on the net… Now it will be
“work”. Somehow I am fighting him with all my might. Why? I don’t know.
He is such a perfect guy. Attractive, clever, funny, passionate, sensitive,
confident… fuck! He has everything. And I am SO attracted to him. Still I
find myself fighting it. I don’t give myself completely. Am I scared of
love? Am I not ready? Will I ever be able to relax enough to love him?
(Friday) (or is it?)
day passed “without event”. We are starting the day later every day –
probably because we go to sleep later every night. Yesterday we mostly spent
the day with Fani, walking up and down the port to find a place for coffee,
and eventually finding some in a bar. Everything seems so normal. I forget
about home and problems, and family and… I can’t remember what else I
called again, but Andreas told him I wasn’t with him, and he will probably
only see me in the evening – haha. Manos is becoming the joke of the day. He
tried to play yo-yo with me, and in the process became just another follower.
I am such a softy. I should simply tell him to leave me alone.
night Andreas and I spent the whole evening (night, actually, since we went to
bed around 6am) at his computer. We read all, or most of our chats. We played
them back and laughed and giggled and joked and teased one another and I
don’t think I’ve ever before had so much fun!
a lot of sexual tension between us, and yet we don’t “get down to
business”. I understand his reasoning, and I agree with it. Still… I am a
sexual creature and I always want what I can’t have. So I am finding it a
bit of a frustration, but I am not really suffering. In fact, I quite like the
idea of not doing anything. The journey is much more fun than reaching the
destination. We are playing the game, and we are getting so good at it that we
may NEVER have sex. Not with anyone else either.
* * *
midnight. I am downstairs, waiting for Andreas to come down. We are going to
some celebration… a name day celebration. Don’t know what to expect.
(These boots are killing me!)
put on some make-up. Don’t know what I look like. Probably funny. How does
one do this again? Can’t bloody remember! And my hair! I can’t seem to fix
it. It looks better in a ponytail!
if I look bad… too bad.
cold today. Probably a good thing, else I’d put on a dress and probably look
even more ridiculous.
and I had another long conversation about the future. I don’t know what to
I am back
in South Africa.
day… well… I don’t know what to say. Andreas and I spent the last night
together, snugly in each other’s arms. It was… amazing, wonderful, glorious!
actually made love, but… we both changed. I have changed and he has changed.
And I am to blame. I am so fucking tired. The trip from Athens was delayed for
almost 2 hours, and when I got here, Peet was obviously not here anymore, so now
I am having a cup of coffee by myself, with my eyes all red from crying about
what could have been. Fuck.
I made a
terrible mistake, letting Andreas believe that we have a chance, but I was
selfish. I know I could love him. Maybe I already do. He is so perfect.
have warned him, but instead I told him everything will work out “ok” in the
end. I even may have told him that I love him, who knows? It all seems a blur to
I hope that
he will forget about me in a week or two, cause we don’t stand a chance!
forget me and I will forget him, eventually, and yes, everything will be… OK.
I will just
take life as it comes now.
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