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Παρασκευή, 14 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

The whole world in a Yorkshire nutshell

It's a been a while since the last time I wrote something in this blog. It's been even longer since I wrote something in English.
It's not like I've run out of ideas or anything. Every time I watch a play, a movie or a go to a concert, I always come home wanting to share the experience. But in the end, I never come through with actually doing it. Sometimes, I just blame it on "growing-out" of my writing phase of life, but then again, maybe the writing phase was never really over: maybe it was just that nothing was so thrilling for me anymore.

Nothing, until last week: the last week of my 23rd year on this planet; a week of personal revelations; a week that is definitely going into the book of my life.

I decided to take this trip as a result of a very sudden and demanding need to "get away". What was I running from? I guess it was a whole bunch of different stuff: the last (hard) part of a struggle to overcome a major personal breakdown; this feeling of constant misery over here in Greece; the loss of Spikey (my dog) who had died in my arms only a month ago...

At such times, times of inner quests, only very few of the people one has met, come to one's mind. And usually, there is no one better to recall, than that high-school buddy who has been there for you for almost a decade, has heard every story of your life more than once, has managed to endure all of your crazy sentimental transitions. It's the person  who is always willing to give you some advice (even though that advice may really suck, and put you in trouble... :p)

Alex is one those people. He is the first person I thought of, and he did an amazing job putting up with me for a whole week. It turns out, he is much more patient than what I thought.

But let's get to the fun part of this:

The trip to York was as lousy as it could get. But after reaching the station everything started to work out. I met Alex in York, and we caught up on each others basic news during a 10 minute walk.

After that, casual dinner with his friends. When he told me he doesn't really hang out with our nationals, I was pretty relieved. He said that his friends are "from around". What he didn't say was that he was actually living my dream. So, over some dishes of great Thai food in York, I met "the world". No, no, I mean I actually met the entire globe!!! Just 5-6 hours after leaving the unbearable uniformity of Greece, I found myself eating Thai food with a Thai (obviously, hence the selection of food), a Spanish, a Bulgarian, an Italian, a German, a Nigerian, a British, and a Palestinian.

The thing is that, after a while (and a couple of beers), things loosened up even more. So I had the privilege to meet the people behind the nationalities. Which was actually even more interesting. Because, apart from the fact that it, most probably, was the most international group of people in York, those girls and guys had some amazing personalities. And that's how nationalities, turned in to names. I wasn't just with a Thai, a Spanish and a Bulgarian (etc.) anymore: I was with Salinee, Bea, Stani, Angelica, Hannah, Ben, Zack and Rupert (well, I met Rupert  a couple of days later, but you get the point). Hanging out with them, only made me want to spend more time with them. And unfortunately, time was running out.

I'm not going  into the details of how much fun I had with those people. I can only say that it was a lot! It included homemade food by Salinee at Beas house, it included jugs of alcohol (thanks Stani), hours of dancing, and a couple of pool games with Rupert, Ben and Alex.

But as I said, this was also a trip of personal revelations. Within a week, my perspectives begun to change. My academic target has now changed completely. My firm position that I want to stay and live in Greece no matter what, has been shaken to its core. This group of young men and women played a very important role in those changes; for that I must thank them.

The last week of my 23rd year was one of the best weeks of  my life.

Bea, Stani, Salinee, Angelica, Hannah, Ben, Zuhdi and Rupert, I really hope you enjoy the rest of your studies in your amazing university. Trust me, you are very lucky to be there. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you all, the best of luck with your diplomas and your careers. It was an honor to meet you all.

I know this started out as an article, but I feel it has turned into something like a public letter to all of you.

Take care everyone! Don't be strangers, keep in touch!
(and keep taking care of my friend over there. :p)

Yours truly,
Tony.

PS1: My house is always open for whoever would like to visit Greece in the future. I'm not just saying it for the sake of saying it. Ask Alex. He knows I mean it. :)
PS2: Eleni, thank you so much for those two great nights at your place, and your amazing skills as a Yorkshire tour guide!
PS3: (to anyone who may read this): Travel the world.  Nothing bad could ever come from meeting new people.