Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Extract of My Travel Diary #1

Day : 23 Feb 2017
Location: Acropolis Athens, Greece

"Yesterday I met a woman who left an impression on me, she inked my soul with her sorrows and wrote her story in my memory. Her name? I don't remember it. Yet, I remember the name of her daughter Angelikki. It means Angel in Greek.
The first time I saw her, she was sitting in the living room of our flat. Exhausted and tired, her face was buried in her hands. She would sob quietly and then storm in rage crying out loud. Her rectangular framed glasses could not hide the dark cercles under her eyes.  She was George ex-girlfriend.
George was one of my flatmates. He is jovial man who always shared his well cooked meals with me. 
I entered the living room with pop corn, sat next to the crying woman, turn on the TV to watch greek cartoons. Some would describe my behaviour as lacking in consideration toward her, but I give people time to grieve and cry without bothering them with questions. I offered the woman some pop corn which she declined with an honest smile. She asked me with a broken english how old I was. I replied that I was twenty years old. She dreamy said "Like my daughter". Our small talk slipped into a deep personal conversation very quickly. 
This woman is a survivor of domestic abuse. Her husband used to beat her. With a new born in her hand, she asked for divorce to protect her daughter. Raising her alone with little to no support from her ex-husband was a difficult task. 
- It is a vicious circle. My mother used to beat me, I married a guy who abused me and I used to beat my daughter. I regret every inch of my hand I laid on my daughter.  
One year ago, she was let go by her company after working 28 years there. The greek crisis left her unemployed. It was around that time that she discovered her mother was terminally ill. She didn't have enough money to support herself and her daughter, let alone pay the chimio of her mother. 
She found love and support with George. However, they traded their romantic relationship with friendship because their situation is too complicated to be the foundation of something new. 
This woman hit the rock bottom. Yet, she forced herself to smile and proudly showed me her jewelries creations. 
She gave me a wise response to my concern about being twenty and lost in my life. She told me 
- You will never figure out life. Nobody does. Everyone is pretending. The only thing you can do is to keep living and keep learning."


With love, 
Ouej

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