Sidewalks – dog walking

Athens has plenty of marble, and many sidewalks in the tourist areas are paved in it.  But then, that real life kicks in and Athens becomes a city of intermittent sidewalks.  Varying from 12″ wide to 3-4 feet depending on the area.  Side streets are usually 12-24 inches.

All these sidewalks are subject to varying obstacles.  Parked motorcycles and cars.  Planters and poles.  Front door steps and missing pavers.  I’ve twisted my ankle more times than I can remember, especially with my dog Buddy pulling me to find a ‘perfect spot’.

As a result many people walk in the street, especially side streets.

Now I know you are saying… why is Jefako telling me all this fairly useless info?  Because I have a story to tell!  Just hang in there!

As I was walking on a side street (in the street as usual) a SUV came from behind.  We were already far enough over that he could have driven past, but he didn’t.  So Buddy and I pulled in between two parked cars.

Not satisfied with this, the driver rolled down his window and began to admonish me in Greek that I should be using the sidewalk and not walking in the street.

I kept my cool, and after his short tirade, I simply said ‘Thank you”.

He then got this “oh you are a foreigner who doesn’t know any better” look on his face… and drove away.  Sometimes playing the “I don’t speak Greek card”, comes in very handy!

10286867_10152446440659214_6699137024589484612_o
Marble in the old city
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motorcycle making the pavement his street
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Planters because… why not?
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Let’s just add front door steps
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Ummmm it disappears
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Let’s put a wall up on the sidewalk

 

 

 

Kefi

There is no translation into English for the word kefi.  It’s even hard to define what it is into words.  It’s all about state of mind, body and emotions. Mostly associated with joy, but it can also be perserviring thru sad times.

In short, it’s the connection one has to life.  Having your emotions show thru to the life around you, and that life that surrounds you, enters into your life.

I’m sure some Greek friends may not totally agree, or would add more.

Even though there is not English translation, it doesn’t mean only Greeks feel kefi.  You’ve felt it when you hold your baby.  When the sun hits your face on a cold winter’s day.  When you share a meal with family or friends.  Or when you stand on the mountain top and feel the wind in your face.

Here in Athens, and in Greece in general, it’s really easy to feel it.  Because life is so very real all around you.  Not always pretty.  Not always clean.  But always…. life.

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