Written while listening to “Faith” by Hans Zimmer What separates humans from animals? Is it our ability to create? Our hubris to destroy? Is it our inclination to blush, as Mark Twain writes, or our tendency to cry, as my tear ducts indicate? The great cities of the world whisper different answers. Florence’s masterpieces of … More Faith

Nights at Bakalo

I. Entry We slink into Bakalotaverna like alley cats, emerging in twos or threes, never all at once. Seven thirty is a fluid number, a liminal space between evening and night without capacity for precision. First we are four in number, then we are seven, then our seven stretches to nine, and finally our company … More Nights at Bakalo

The 10 to Chaimanta

My life hinges upon proclamations issued by an omnipotent and possibly metallic travel deity. “Epómeni stási, Chaimanta.” “Next station, Aghia Paraskevi.” “Now boarding, Ryanair flight 48 to Athens.” The travel deity is a middle aged automaton who stuffs cumulous clouds instead of creamer into her morning coffee. On a pair of burnished wings, she hovers … More The 10 to Chaimanta

Portraits of Greece

It is people, not place, that makes up the fabric of existence. Fibers of conversation, threads of connection— this is the blanket of life that warms us. And let it be known that Greece has indeed kept me warm, even on these soggy November streets, through a rich tapestry of relationships. This is the Greece … More Portraits of Greece

On Failure

Today marks the second week anniversary of my first major workplace breakdown. It was a pitiful affair that involved shuddering shoulders in the teacher’s lounge and soggy hugs from sympathetic colleages. In retrospect, the outburst feels embarrassing and unnecessary. Sometimes I wonder why it happened. Maybe I was tired. I had been wrestling the same … More On Failure

Has-Beens and Will-Bes: A Venn Diagram Starring Modern Greece and Yours Truly

What cruelties do we whisper about Modern Greece behind her back? Side-eying Acropolis scaffolding, castigating the national debt crisis, we rifle through the history book until we find a classical era gilded in the golden light of idealism. Oh, Greece, we whisper, we love you, but only what remains of you from some bygone age … More Has-Beens and Will-Bes: A Venn Diagram Starring Modern Greece and Yours Truly

Loafers in Athens

Taverna dinners under saggy Cretian moons, where the aroma of wine and laughter wafts above the crumbling rooftops and minarets: this is not my Greece. Ocean-facing ruins, temples, strongholds of ancient glory clinging to memory and bloodred beams of daylight as if to stop the sun’s journey beneath the waves: this is not my Greece. … More Loafers in Athens