I looked out the window of our very small hotel room. I’ve never really noticed the size of our room until I had to skip over our luggage on the floor and move some chairs aside to get to the windows. The city of Athens was just starting its night, 9:30pm is still considered quite early for the Greeks. The cafe across our building was full of people – some were drinking coffee while some were having their pre-dinner glass of beer. We were going to meet a friend for dinner at 10pm but I couldn’t pass up the chance to look over the crumbling city whose grandeur in Ancient times was lost and forgotten before heading out. While the crisis they’re in is not evidently visible, I know that this place isn’t as rich as the country that I’m currently residing in. So I asked myself, why was I feeling an inexplicable joy now that I’m in Greece?
Is it the euphoria that everyone gets when they’re on a holiday? Is it because I know that I was going to be there only for a short time? I’ve stared out the window long enough that my cellphone started its alarm. I scheduled an alarm at 9:45pm to remind me that we need to get moving if we want to be on time to meet a fellow blogger.
As I walked out the hotel lobby, I saw The Greek Mister drinking his first beer after being alcohol-free for 2 weeks. Alcohol’s been banned from where we came from and I wondered why is it that we crave for something even more when it’s not accessible and when it is, we don’t really crave for it that much? The human mind is a mysterious thing.
I walked towards him, kissed him on the cheeks and gave him a big bear hug. I was fully aware that it was the first time after 8 months that I was able to do this in public. We’re not offending anyone and we’re not breaking the law – we didn’t have to worry about any of those now that we’re in Greece.
We walked towards the restaurant with his arms over my shoulders. A simple gesture and yet, it felt like such a big deal for me at the time because once again, we’re unable to do this from where we came from. I saw people drinking and eating all around us and wondered if it’s already the acceptable time to eat and drink from the city which I flew out of 5 hours ago.
“How long has it been?” I wondered. Why do I feel like a bird caged in for so long and was given a chance to fly out of it for the very first time? It’s been 8 months since I last had a vacation but it felt longer than it actually is. I’ve been counting the days for about a month for this holiday to come and of course, days dragged by so slowly. Now that I’m finally on a holiday, I wanted the world to stop turning even for just a second if that meant having a longer time of being here. Of being free.
It’s not the fault of the place that we’re living in, there’s nothing wrong with it. On the other hand, there is something wrong with us. It’s not like we’re being kept there out of our will, it is us who chose to be there so we just have to suck it up I guess. We’re merely guests of that place and as guests, we have to follow their lifestyle, their rules.
I can’t help but wonder though, if the only thing that makes me happy in that place is the fact that everyday that I wake up I’m one day closer to my next holiday, is it really worth it? Am I really enjoying my life there when all I could think about is when’s the next time I’m flying out? Is it normal? Or am I just plainly unhappy?