Η αλλιώς, Δεκαπενταύγουστος
I only once spent Ferragosto, the 15th of August, in Athens. I cannot recall what the reason for this improbable situation was, as I was normally away at that time of the year; most likely in Crete celebrating my aunt Maria and eating her deliciously cooked Cretan snails.
It had never occured to me as a kid that Athens would be empty during that time, that, as I was going on holiday everyone else did too. I remember calling my friends and not getting a response, or receiving short replies "hey I am back next week". So, at some point it was pretty clear that I had to spend the day on my own.
Being too young to drive, I took the bus and headed towards Syntagma. Mesogeion avenue and even Vasilisis Sofias were empty. It took no time whatsoever to arrive to the centre, which looked completely deserted, and sort of terrifying. Shops were closed, litterally only three people were walking on the square. What a ghost town... "Fuck it, I thought, I am going south", jumbed on a taxi and continued my way to the sea.
The beach was a bit busier, with small groups of friends and families chatting under their umbrellas, or lonely swimmers in the water. I wondered why these people were left behind, and started making stories about them and their lifes to kill some time.
I jumbed into the sea and my mood gradually started changing. The water was calm and clean, the beach looked way more attractive compared to when it was packed with people. It felt almost as if I was on a remote island, somewhere in the Cyclades- not that I really knew the Cyclades back then.
I looked the other way, towards the sea and the horizon, and I could see ferries and sail boats in the distance heading to unknown to me destinations.
I waved to them from afar; "Enjoy your holiday", I thought, "the fewer, the merrier".