The most striking experience within this first week in Greece was the helpfulness and openness of all the people I met. It is rather humbling to be welcomed with such pro-active altruism that I catch myself wondering whether I would be equally forthcoming if the situation were reversed. I really hope so!
One morning there is a knock on IDA’s starboard side and a friendly lady offers me a fresh loaf of bread from the bakery, just like that. She turns out to be Tina, who lives with Rüdiger and two great kids, Joanne and Chiara, on their boat where Tina schools them. On my last night in the yard I was sponteaneously invited to join them for dinner that evolved into a culinary feast of home-made fish soup, olives that they marinade themselves and other greek specialties which they export (firstname.lastname@example.org: get some of those olives, they’re to die for!).
Then there is Philip, a German from Hamburg who, without me even asking, offered his help for some repair which I gladly accepted. When I returned from another shopping spree to the marine outfitters he was already working away on the boat, shrugging off my attempt to pay for his services with a friendly smile.
Or Evangelos, the shipyard manager: he seems to have all the patience in the world to answer even the silliest questions. And then goes out of his way to connect me with other people that could help me where he can’t. (www.basimakopouloi.gr)
I felt very lucky to have met Didier, the french architect who was on his way to circumnavigate the world and found Greece so appealing that he decided to stay a little while. That was twenty years ago and now he runs his own workshop, restores old wooden boats into pieces of art and offers mooring services to people who have to leave their boats unattended for a while, such as myself in April. (www.kiladayachtservices.com)
Then, of course, there are the Greeks themselves: I am not sure of the current public opinion, but each and every one I met thus far was open, helpful and industrious. A good example is the crew of my favourite coffee and snack bar, „Happy Flo“, where Vassilis, Dimitris and Nikoletta made me feel warmly welcome. The sea star from the top image of this blogpost was a farewell gift from Vassilis for good luck with my trip. It has, of course, a prominent place in the salon!
„Ευχαριστώ“ to everyone!