My first full day on Paros, and already my rhythms feel right again. I rose at seven am, made a cup of tea and entered the day slowly. John and I went out for coffee, then I walked out onto the waterfront and sat on the rocks for a bit while I waited for the morning boat to bring a new load of students in.
Last night and this morning were full of wonderful moments – not only do the people around town remember me, they’ve been greeting me by name. “Brianna, so nice to see you! Good to have you back!” It feels good to walk into the little shop where I buy bread, into the cafe, into ten different places and see familiar faces. Though that didn’t just start in Paros – that started at LAX the second I walked up to the Virgin Atlantic counter and had the same attendant check me in. He bumped my seat up, even. Then I had the same customs agent coming into London. The same flight attendant on the Paros flight. None of this is a coincidence, it’s just law of averages – I haven’t been gone that long. But still, it all conspires to make the world feel small and safe and known and familiar. A misleading feeling maybe, but inutterably pleasant.
Last night, I had dinner at my favourite little waterfront taverna, just as I said I would. The Albatross. The eggplant saganaki is incredible. We sauntered into dinner around 9:30, the boat came at 9:45, I came back to dinner around 10, left at 10:30 to pick up another student, then headed to Spiti for a drink. Closed up the school at midnight, went to sleep, and rose at seven like I said.
This is Greek time. In the afternoons there is a siesta, and the plateias get quiet and the buzz of chainsaws and hum of pedestrians ceases and all you hear is that faint whisper of the south breeze getting stronger as the day wears on. In the evenings the shops reopen, spilling faint light onto the paving stones, and the music starts up in the bars and tavernas. Tonight, we stopped at Karen’s for a drink before dinner, on our way to get provisions, and it was seven-thirty before we even began to think of doing our shopping. Dinner is a late affair, sometimes not until eleven, and there’s usually a drink afterward, and no matter how busy I am during the day there are always moments to stop and contemplate, time to take things in, time to reflect. Wake up early, go to bed late – this is living on Greek time.
It suits me.