Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Adaptation

My parents have been here for two weeks now and I think their visit is at least somewhat satisfactory. Last week was a whirlwind of museums and constant trips downtown, along with Easter celebrations in the heart of Thessaloniki. My in-laws had invited us to their house in Halkidiki for the holiday, but since my parents had already celebrated Easter there five years ago, I wanted them to experience the superb chanting at the Church of the Acheiropoietas, which is the only church I’ve ever gone in where I have actually felt something aside from the normal discomfort I usually feel in holy places (my short video of last year’s resurrection service can be found here). The chanters there are the best I’ve ever heard – even better than most CDs of Orthodox holy music. So, we booked a couple of hotel rooms at a downtown hotel for Saturday night and enjoyed a quiet Easter to ourselves.

All in all I think it is rather hard for my parents to adapt to life in Greece. They are in their 70’s and the convenience of things in America makes things here seem so much more complicated. Certainly there is some truth to that, but I’ve adapted to washing machines with more than just four basic settings, to hanging my clothes to dry, to shops being closed during hours that might be considered inconvenient, and to stepping around goat turds in my driveway. Of course, some things are our choices, like not having a dryer or a microwave and choosing wood floors instead of wall to wall carpeting. But I’ve adjusted, and in the end, things really don’t seem that much more difficult. Then again, it has been awhile since I’ve lived in the U.S. so maybe I’ve just forgotten.

As to the things they have adapted to, well, my dad has made friends with all the neighborhood dogs, and one of them likes to accompany him when he takes his walks. They’ve gotten to know one of the local shepherds (who apparently speaks just enough English for basic communication) and they’ve learned their way around our little village (my dad was even able to buy some things at the bakery without any assistance). The true test will be when my husband and I go to Crete for five days and my parents will be forced to make it on their own (with a little help from my brother-in-law). I think they can handle it.

I’m just happy to see them, even if my dad has taken over my computer.

3 comments:

Rositta said...

I understand how your parents must be feeling. I have the same problem every time I come to Greece, I actually dread it in a way. We're back again in September for two months and I really need to learn a few words, lol. Everything is a lot more difficult there than what I'm used to. Your parents will be fine...ciao

Anonymous said...

good for u.

nice to have ,

parents around . =zardoz=

Διαγόρας said...

I can perfectly understand not having a dryer, especially given the climate here, but... a microwave?

omigod, they don't have a microwave! =:-)

Why? Just curious!