Tuesday, September 4:  I return to Rethymno for my last evening in Crete. 😦  After having a Mythos beer at Cafe Galano, soaking up the atmosphere and watching the stylish Europeans stroll past, I use the internet upstairs.  I return to Barbara Studios to take a shower and a little nap, and then head back into the streets again to wander and have some dinner.

the streets of Rethymno at night

I pass a cute little church with some Orthodox priests talking outside.  I take a picture of the church but I feel taking a picture of the priests is an intrusion, so I don’t.

a Greek Orthodox church in the center of Rethymno

I am walking around when suddenly a group of people carrying a big banner and shouting things marches down the middle of the street.  Their banner says something about Neo-Nazis;  the word “STOP” is also on the banner, so I assume they are protesting AGAINST Neo-Nazis. But I could be wrong.  I ask several people on the street, but no one can speak English well enough to give me an answer.

a protest in Rethymno ~ I THINK it’s AGAINST the Neo-Nazis, but I’m not sure

After that bit of excitement, I go for dinner to the Lemon Tree Garden.  This old-town taverna has a lovely courtyard full of lemon trees that cast a green glow over everyone’s faces.

The Lemon Tree Garden restaurant

pretty display at the entrance to Lemon Tree Garden

I try to take a picture of myself by propping my camera on an ashtray.  An elderly gentleman sitting catty-corner to me laughs gently, amused by my sad attempts.  Yet he doesn’t offer to take a picture.  He seems friendly, but possibly he doesn’t speak English.  He has white hair, a white goatee and mustache, and is dressed in all white.  His wife is similarly white-haired and dressed in all white.  They both look very elegant, but I hardly hear them speak a word to each other during the entire meal.

me looking like a green alien at Lemon Tree Garden

Beautiful music sets a romantic mood, so I order a glass of red wine (I’m so predictable, aren’t I?) and a Greek omelet.

a Greek omelet with French Fries

Everyone around me seems quietly content.  They are not boisterous, not laughing infectiously.  I wonder if it would be better to be sitting across from someone special  in quiet companionship than to be sitting alone.  Sometimes when with another person, I feel more alone than when I’m by myself.  Sometimes it’s just too difficult to share the yearnings of my heart with the person I love.  Sometimes I want to talk about a me that doesn’t include him, and I’m afraid I will hurt him.  When I’m alone, I don’t feel that quiet desperation I sometimes feel with someone I love, when communication is failing us.  There is no pressure, no huge chasm staring me in the face.

inside the Lemon Tree Garden with its green lighting

I know so many people who are unhappy in their marriages.  And other people who are deliriously happy.  Or just quietly content.  I know people who see-saw between happiness, boredom and unhappiness.  We all do this, I think, in our relationships.  Nothing is perfect, being alone or being with someone.  It’s all ups and downs, highs and lows, or bland sameness.   I think happiness is just momentary, fleeting, and I must enjoy it when it flits by, lighting up my life like a firefly.  It is now, it is this moment.

Goodbye to the streets of Rethymno… 😦

And tomorrow, I must leave it behind and toss myself once again into the great unknown.

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About catbird in japan

As of July 15, 2015, I'm now taking a break from living abroad. I'm living in Oakton, Virginia and looking for my next opportunity. Last year, I lived in China and taught English at Sino-Canadian International College. I also taught at a university in Nizwa, Oman for two years, and in Korea's public schools for one year. I love to travel and have been to 24 countries.

18 responses »

  1. Reblogged this on a nomad in the land of nizwa and commented:

    A fond farewell to Crete….

  2. We are full of protests lately in Greece…. I am glad you had a great time here! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • I had such a great time. in my mind, I am still living in Greece and am not at all happy to be back where I am…. 😦 Yes, this was the second protest against Neo-Nazis that I encountered while there. Is that in fact what the sign is saying? Can you explain what’s going on for me, who doesn’t speak Greek?

      • Well, in a few words, in the last elections a neo-nazi political party got an increased number of votes and now has a saying in the Greek parliament (sadly…). Since then it has been causing disturbances…. hence there are people who protest for their behavior. The banner says “Stop the fascist attacks, we want the neo-nazies out of here”. It is really sad that a big amount of Greeks voted for them……..

      • Wow, that really is quite disturbing, Ioanna. I wonder why so many Greeks are turning in this direction for solutions to their problems. Are they angry because immigrants are taking their jobs? Or is it just simple racism? Good for the people who are speaking out!

      • I don’t think Greeks are racists. I believe its frustration…. With all the heavy economic measures and the government wastage and thievery of all these years, some people are turning to extreme political parties….

      • That’s good to know; I didn’t think they were, Ioanna. Nazis were definitely racists, but it’s good to know that’s not what drives the Greeks to vote these people into power. I’m sure the government wastage and thievery would cause people to vote for any alternative to what they have.

      • Lets hope we make better choices the next elections….. :-/

      • I’m sending all my best wishes and hopes to the Greek people….

  3. adinparadise says:

    What a lovely name for a restaurant! I also wonder about people who can sit through a meal and hardly acknowledge one another. I suppose it’s better than arguing though. Your hair looks quite trendy in that shade of green. 🙂 Now I’m craving a glass of red wine and a Greek omelette.

    • I know, I was drawn to the restaurant because of the name. I wonder about those people too. I have felt that way myself in relationships before! I’m not sure if it’s better than arguing; at least arguing shows there’s some life left in the relationship! 🙂

      Thanks for the compliment about my green hair. I’m sure it looks very becoming, for an alien that is!

      When you have your glass of wine and Greek omelet, give me a call! I’ll be right over to join you…

  4. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Lots of emotional undercurrent here Cathy, thanks for sharing.

  5. Colline says:

    Enjoyed looking at this series of photos.

  6. Carol says:

    Life does not always give easy answers, does it? Relationships require a great deal of flexibility I think, and sometimes I would rather not be that flexible. Sometimes the companionship is good to have, other times not so much. I think we can only do the best we can with what our lives offer, grasp joy whenever it flits through and just live. Your Lemon Tree Garden looks like a wonderful place for dinner!

    • Thank you Carol, for that comment. It’s really a dilemma for me, these relationships. I dream of a relationship where there is always something to say to each other, but I think that requires keeping your individuality. Once you give that up, and merge into one, then I feel there is nothing to say. My problem is that I have trouble holding on to myself in any relationship!!

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