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Tuesday, June 19, 2007


NOTE: I put the "Notes in the Courtyard" blog on Living the Writer's Life because it's all about my writing and reasons for being here.

"Faith illumines me and my world
Like the light from the rising sun
dances across the sky, changing
from several shades into one,
our faith rises to light the way
to oneness with God." Daily Word

JUNE 17, Sunday
It's a quiet, steamy hot Sunday afternoon and I'm sitting at the TKA drinking cold Mythos beer after having downed two delicious souvlakis on pita. A celebratory meal, because thanks to help from my good friend and answers to prayers, all is well again. Now I just have to be frugal til departure time next week.

You never know what surprises will greet you whenyou set off for the day in Athens. I took the trolly up to Syntagma and stopped to take photos of the evzones who guard the Tomb of the unkonw Soldier at the National Palace (gov't buildings). There was a band and soldiers marching up the road and then belive it or not, the Spartans and Greek hoplites appeared, marching in full regalia into the Square followed by women wearing traditional costumes. Apparantly it was a ceremony to honor the fallen Greeks in particular those of antiquity, the Spartans 300 who died at Thermopolye and the Greeks who died at Marathon. It appeared they might have been erecting a new monument as weell. the crowds pushed up onto the Square and the police kept shoving everyone ack. I took as many photos as I could but people were elbowing in front so it was difficult to get a really exceptional shot of the ancient warriors. I found it quite exciting and although it was just a reenactment, it gave you a sense of wht they must have really looked like in full battle gear.

Then I went to the internet, got all my good news, extracted money from the bank machines and walked through Plaka which was full of Americans - obviously a plane-load had just arrived.
Cameback here to the TKA for a bit to eat and a cool quiet retreat.

Not much else on today's agenda except if Zoe is free tonight I might meet her in Plaka Square. Otherwise I'm not moving from the courtyard at Chris's where everything is cool and serene.
Right now, this Mythos is like iced ambrosia, little sparrows and pigeons are pecking around my feet, and Dino is serenading me on his bouzouki.
(I made a movie of him playing it!)

Plaka Square is an entertainment in iteslef. It's the tree-shaded plateia in the middle of Plaka surrounded by cafes and buzzing with tourists but in the square, under the trees, you can set and people watch as long as you like for free. When I lived here we used to hang out at the tavernas in the Square. Now they are too expensive -- all white table-clothes and tourist menus. But one has live music and dancers and this is free entertainment if you're on the benches in the middle of the square.

I met zoe there and while I was waiting took some movies of what was going on, the bouzouki music and dancers and all. Zoe and I have known each other for 10 years now. She came here in '83 to live, the same time as me, from Chicago, arriving as a belly dancer and later marrying a Greek musician. She has two children. We met at the American church where I used to go on Sundays. She's very involved in Scientology, which has given her spiritual streght to deal with a difficult marriage and the sturggle to survive here. We had a long, interesting talk. She's an enthusiastic, talented woman, a writer and painter. It was great fun spending the evening sitting on the benches in the Square catching up on the news. We ended up being there four hours before realizing how the time had flown by and she had to rush to catch her bus home.
I decided to walk as the evening was cool andpleasant, so I stopped for an ouzo at the TKA add then headed back to Chris's. It was late, but lots of activity on thne streets and I never feel any 'danger' here as I might at home. This is one thing I love about Athens - in spite of the size of the city (and there is some crime here!) I always feel safe. Then, I know the city and I know the streets. I could almost walk from TKA to Chris's with my eyes closed! The thing you need to be most aware of are the uneven pavements. But they've even fixed those. Yes, I really do love Athens and consider it my second home. so undoubtedly I'll keep returning here. Thenext time it will be for eht Asembly of 2009. Want to join us?

NEXT: A Day Around Town.

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