Athens Meets the Parents

When I really love something, I get a little nervous about exposing it to the ones that I love.  I want them to like it too.  Of course no one has the same exact interests as one another; and no one should (how boring).  But when it comes to my passions and interests, I want approval from family and friends. 

So, you can imagine my anxiety about my family coming to visit me in Athina.  I’ve come to truly love Athina-in fact I would say that we’re dating.  I know its getting serious fast, but I just cannot deny our chemistry.  We go for long walks through all different areas and have nice coffees for hours on end.  We go exploring, always eager to try new things.  And Athens and I have even developed our own little language-Gringish (Greek combined with English).  Sounds great right?  Introducing Athens to my family will be a breeze.

Maybe not.  Athens is not perfect and although I have come to love its “flaws,” my family might not.  For one thing, Athens is a little rough around the edges.  Taxi drivers will not always take you where you want to go.  And if they do, all too often they rip you off.  Don’t count on street signs to help you out either, as most streets don’t have them.  Spray paint is endless in certain neighborhoods.  Sometimes stray dogs follow you for blocks…and at other times harassing men.  Public transportation ends at 1am, when Athens nightlife begins.  Which can make getting home either expensive via taxi or strenuous via heels.  Not to mention that second hand smoke is inescapable; breathing is equivalent to smoking.  And you cannot always count on Athens to be on-time, prompt, or organized.  Just last week the 11 bus stood me up. 

Naturally, as a girl in love, I’ve rationalized all of these flaws.  The bus didn’t come? Just playing hard to get, which means that actually it really did want to pick me up.    No offer for a ride home after a long night out?  Athens just wanted to walk me home, how romantic.  Spray paint everywhere?  I do like scruff. 

Well, maybe my family will be able to see what I see in Athens.  On the first night I decided to lay all of the cards on the table: Dinner in Athens ExTremeeE style!  In my mind I was picturing an Anthony Bourdain adventure!  I took them to this great, authentic, cheap Greek restaurant called Barber Yannis.  I forgot to mention that getting there would require walking through Exarchia, a “student neighborhood.”  One street was crawling with college kids just sitting and drinking.  But a tourist might assume they were doing drugs and shit.  My sister was fine with it and I have honestly been bothered more in the richer areas of Athens than in Exarchia.  But Mary and Gary…having arrived less than 24 hours ago were a little, well shocked.  Oops.  I was only thinking about my stomach I guess.

But they all loved it.  That’s right, even Gary Roberts, he who does not eat chicken, vegetables, seafood, or fruit (except for orange juice but that doesn’t count).

And as we spend our last night in Athens tonight before I take a long weekend with them in Santorini, I daresay they might miss Athens.  Dad was impressed with the markets and the potatoes? Mary liked the history and the desserts.  And Katie? Well she liked the jewelry and the gyros.  Now that the formal introductions are over, we can all relax in Santorini.  Did I say that I was just dating Athens exclusively?  Because I’m also seeing the Greek Islands on the side-it keeps my relationship with Athens fresh and fun.

Who knows, maybe I’ll stay with Greece for the rest of my life.  It would be a big commitment, but one thing is for sure, things would never get boring.

Love,

TZEINA

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2 Responses to “Athens Meets the Parents”

  1. Katie, the coolest sister Says:

    love love love this one. Hilarious. I love the getting stood up by the bus comment! xoxo

  2. Mary Says:

    Just be careful about cheating on Athens; remember it has all those gods, some of whom are not forgiving!

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