Keep in mind this may be the first time I’ve used the word “azure” in a sentence. But that is the only apt description of the color of the Mediterranean, or, at least the Myrtoan Sea south and west of Athens, that lapped against the marbled shores I saw in October.
On a day cruise from the mainland, my wife, Tom Martin and I visited Aegina, Hydra and Poros on the last of our days in the country.
Nancy shopped while Tom and I sat in a shore front cafe in Egina, the largest village on Aegina, which lies 30 miles or so off shore. We sipped local beers, snacked on pizza and soaked in the beauty of the place and people.
An older man on a scooter pulled up in front, carrying with him two boys. The younger, roughly 5-year-old, was crouched down in front of the man. The other, probably 8 or 9, held on around the mans waist as he sat behind. The boys jumped off and gleefully ran into the restaurant. They joined three other children already there at a computer kiosk off to one side.
The waiter welcomed the boys, waived to the man on the scooter, who then parked and came in as well. He said something to the children in Greek then the boys began surfing the web.
They were watching YouTube videos, pointing, giggling and witnessing the world afar. Just like I do with my son when we talk together on the sofa.
What we think of as different in the world really isn’t. The terrains of Southern Greece look like Southern California — bare hills and rocky teeth jutting out like fangs biting the heat of the day. The people are sullen and standoff-ish, but accommodating and pleasant.
The Metro looks, sounds and smells like any in America you can qualify as clean. Young people stay out partying. Older people not so much. There are rich and poor, bad parts of town and good. Everyone has their head in a device most of the time.
Cultural difference will emerge, yes. But in the grand scheme of things, people there are not different than people here. We all want to be amused when we’re not working. We all want to be engaged and informed when we are. We all need human connection, affection and validation. We need community.
Perhaps we’d get it a lot more if we focused on how similar we are rather than how different? The world really is small. What will you do to impact it today?
Food for thought.