Monday, September 3: I drive back to Rethymno from Hania and on the way in, I pass by an adorable little church right along the sea.
Across the street I find some colorful graffiti on a wall. Obviously the street artists are not confined to Athens.
After stopping at this place to take some photos, I park my car again by the Fort and meander back through the town.
I head directly to Cafe Galero, where I order my first Mythos beer in Greece. Cafe Galero is a huge cafe in the center of the old town of Rethymno. Large groups seem to congregate here. The cafe also has an internet cafe upstairs, which I use after I relax and enjoy people-watching. I catch up on my emails and Facebook.
After this little respite, I head back to Barbara Studios to take a shower and lie down a bit before going out to dinner at Erofili Restaurant. Their menu describes the restaurant as such: “Traditional Cretan and Mediterranean cuisine, a great selection of the finest Greek wines in a beautiful outdoor garden in the old town.”
The hostess at the restaurant seats me perfunctorily, as if I’m somebody to be shaken off. As I sit waiting for service, listening to the beautiful music of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, I begin to wonder if maybe I died and only my soul is wandering around in the world. Maybe I died so seamlessly that I don’t even know that I died, perhaps in my sleep or so suddenly that I never even realized it. For as little as I’m noticed sometimes, as a middle-aged single woman, I feel I am invisible.
I muse about this and think that even if I am invisible, it does not ruin my time here. I have no one, no one to love me or to share these moments, yet I am still enjoying them. It’s as if I’m having a romance with the place, with Greece, with Rethymno, with Erofili, with the food, with the music, with this moment. I think of a quote I recently came across: “Collect moments, not things.” And I think to myself this is exactly what I am doing. I’m adding to my own personal collective experience of happy moments, even if I am all alone.
I order red wine, as always my drink of choice, and “mousakas ~ fresh Cretan, mince, eggplant, potatoes and cream made of fresh milk.” It is piping hot and rich and delicious.
While eating, I look around at my fellow diners, fellow adventurers or locals, who are sharing this place with me. There is the woman with bulging eyes who looks like Hugh Grant’s sister in the movie Notting Hill. There are two large & sturdy women, not fat and flabby, but solid and strong, like Amazons. Then there is the group of four possibly British or Australian men. They seem to be having a grand time together. Other couples are quietly sharing a meal as if they’ve exhausted every possible topic of conversation in all their years together. I wonder if all these people are happy. Are they simply content? Are they passionate about their lives and this moment? Are they bored and just going through the motions? Are they having insurmountable problems yet still trying to make the best of things? Are they quietly going crazy with loneliness? Or with sadness? I don’t know. But I wonder. I would love to know the stories of these people. But of course, I’m outside of their lives, just an observer. Never to know the truth.
In the end, I wonder if I would enjoy this place more if I were with someone? I wonder who it would be? Who?