This column was supposed to be a piece about a city girl in country mode. Some high minded reactions about leaving an environment populated by some 500,000 souls and finding yourself in a village of 500 people where roads are too narrow for traffic. What happens mentally and emotionally with such a change.
Well, self-deception mostly.
I walk 45 minutes down hill on an ancient stone path hundreds of years old and stop briefly to admire the view and drink from a spring blurting pure water from a rocky surface. I've come to Milina village to swim in the salty blue sea and walk a shoreline lined with small shops and cafes. Signs advertise fishing trips and evening entertainment though clients must be limited this time of year. The tiny tourist office is closed. September is already 'off season.' I banter with the only tourists I see, a couple seated next to my table where I order a raki. They are Roumanians pausing on their drive south, wide-eyed toddler in tow. Their English is perfect.
So, too, is my swim off a pebbly beach shaded by some wispy pine trees next to a cement wall.
And so should be the Greek salad I choose for a late lunch at another seaside cafe farther down the road. My waiter, the owner, is curious, courteous, and direct - Greeks at their best, by right the equal of any man.
"I can tell you were once a beautiful woman," he volunteers, putting before me my plate of juicy well-oiled tomatoes and peppers alongside a loaf of fresh bread. I'm taken aback, unsure whether to feel flattered or insulted. What else can I do but thank him?
He walks away before I can reply.
City mouse, country mouse, still the same old face.