No fear, the real Greece is still here

12.07.2015 21:58

no fear, the real Greece is still here

With alarm over a possible Grexit reaching near hysteria, there’s never been a better time to show solidarity with this beautiful, fascinating country. And the welcome will be warmer than ever, says Kevin Rushby

Main square in Chora, Folegandros. Photograph: Maremagnum/Getty Images

Whatever happens, I’m heading for Greece this summer. Once upon a time that would not have sounded like a political statement, but it does today. And yet I am only going to Greece for the same old reasons I ever did: warm breezes off the sea well into October, traces of ancient heritage, the elemental, straightforward lifestyle, and to try, once again, to convince myself that retsina tastes good. And what could be more straightforward than putting your money, and your faith, in a place that you know and love?

Three years ago – when Greece was in one of its frequent “this is the end of everything” moments – I was sitting at a dining table on a beach in the Peloponnese. The restaurateur had moved it there – “Because you will like it!” – and then he sat down and started sloshing wine into glasses. There were Greek friends with me. I hadn’t known any of them for more than 24 hours. The table seemed to exert a gravitational pull, gathering people to it, all talking of whether tourists would come, of whether livelihoods would survive. But before too long, laughter broke out and somehow the financial crisis evaporated … and no one mentioned it again.


Mikrometoxos 2014