"East Europe 2005-06" story # 31

Rio, Greece           March 19, 2006

At some point before or after Carnaval, I realized I'd rejected the community.
     Then, my camera was stolen.
     Thirdly, I was wet and completely miserable in my tent.
     I got the feeling that people can fly, soon after that.
     Little silly Simona invited me to stay with her.
     And finally, a pleasant-looking gang of four stray dogs marched their way down a dusty, empty street in an agricultural Greek town on a sunny day. The leading three looked street-wise and slick, but the final one was a maple-colored and bologne-loaf-shaped baby. This equilateral-eared baby didn't blindly tag after the others. He went curiously where he pleased, wandering to check out sewers and other things of doggy interest. Then, his body skated through low air as he rushed to catch up. - er, wait a minute, that's not a sky-tall event.
     The important events need some elaboration, surely. The curious wandering equilateral-eared dog wouldn't like such a straight chronological line, and neither would the discussing Greeks of today. And neither would Douglas Adams.

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy states, in Chapter 726, Section B, that 'the key to successful flying lies in throwing yourself at the ground and missing." - a near-quote from Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe)

It's ironic that I'd spoken so often about Patra's Carnaval being ridiculous. Because, the other day when I was meditating, I looked up at the sky, and it occured to me that it would be possible to go there. I looked at the distant honey blue so attractive, and felt an adrenaline rush in me that said I could go fly up there if I just willed it. I guess the moral of this is: people who meditate are weird.
     Douglas Adams and his "Hitchhiker's Guide" books had gone on to say that if you're falling towards the Earth and you suddenly meet a distraction so shocking so as to make you momentarily forget you're falling, then you'll cease to fall and will hover and begin to fly.
     A Canadian girl once told me she knew of reports that people recently had learned to walk on water, in a related matter.
     A Canadian guy, Dimitri, who owns a hair salon here in Patra, told me about an Indian guru of levatation who'd appeared on the Geraldo Rivera show. He said this guy had promised Geraldo he would levatate for him, but then when the time came and the guru was seated on the ground, all he did to "levatate" was clap his hands off the ground and push himself with force briefly into the air.
     Last night, I was at a University of Patra international student party and met Ja-iram from Nepal. This mocha-skinned, buzzed-haired, bespectacled man told me about Hinduism. He said his religion's most-ancient stories are the "Betts," which are at least 10,000 years old. He said everything that was, is, and will be is supposedly written in those books. And he said it's written that it's possible for people to vanish voluntarily and teleport themselves elsewhere in space. Ja-iram claimed that Einstein's theories prove that mass can be turned into energy, and thus he believes teleporting can be done.
     Personally, I believe it's possible to fly. I believe the first step would be walking on water, the second flying, and the third teleporting. Other people probably agree with those three steps, but they'd tell me bluntly that I already fulfilled a step preceding them, and that's the step of losing one's marbles. I told Dimitri that I don't think it's important whether we can fly or not, but I believe a person would be better-off if she believed it was possible to fly than if she believed it was impossible - unless, maybe, she jumped off a cliff.
     The other recent revelation that struck me, luckily not too hard, was that my lack of friends in the Patra area has largely been self-induced. A caring eighteen-year-old, Yeorgos, and three Gypsy children who hung out with me one afternoon and hugged me, were among the people in Patra city who might've wanted to get to know me better. But, I stayed far away in my tent: sometimes because a room in Patra was elusive, but other times because I preferred the peace of staying in a tiny village near nature.
     It seems like alternative-thinking people often want to live peacefully in nature. But, sadly, this depletes the young and confused people in cities of older friends who think progressively and enjoy life. Had I stayed in Patra, some could've had a friend from America like no friend they'd ever have. Young Greeks often have no one to emulate but their parents, who may be money-obsessed and xenophobic and unhappy. Let this come as a lesson for all nature-seekers; it was for me.
     I finally got out of my tent this Monday. (Thank the heavens!) A tiny Romanian architecture student named Simona rescued me and said I could sleep in her apartment's main room. Woohoo for cool Simona!
     She's great. When I'd first met her, I got the impression that the world to her is nothing but a big ball of silliness.
     Her voice sounds like the tired exhale of a young, fun-loving, magic-wielding witch. Her chuckling laugh is heard a lot. She disagrees with possibly all of my philosophies, but I like her ironic sense of humor.
     "Your STUPID vows ..." is how she starts many of her sentences to me, before ironically adding, " - which, by the way, I really respect (ha ha) - ..." She always mouths, "Great," sarcastically when things aren't great. (But, when I'd said she's great, I meant she actually IS great.) And she was wearing white boots, jeans, a flourescent green t-shirt, a white jacket, and her fussed brown hair last night, and she danced to Green Day by playing the air guitar with her little arms.
     The last night which I'd spent sleeping in my tent wasn't nearly a party. It was the fourth of my five tent-spent Sundays that was full of rain. I was wet and restless for many hours in the night.
     And before that, my camera had been stolen. Until then, I would've said that one of the few good things about Greece was that you don't need to worry much about people stealing from you. But, somebody entered my tent when I had it near the university, and my camera went missing. The "kleftis" (thief) was, probably, either a Greek student or a Gypsy living beside the river nearby.
     So, okay. I'm sorry if my chonological account turned a bit unchonological. But, that little equilateral-eared dog was my favorite of the four. I hope he keeps wandering. Maybe he'll find my camera.

- peace,
Modern Oddyseus

"I believe I can fly." - Seal ("Fly")

Thanks to Arianopolis; Kostas & Anna Antanatos; and Kostas for the rides!
Much thanks to Ela; and Eva, Tany, Isabel, Raquel, Andrea, Wong-cha, & Small Estia for the places to sleep!

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