29 March 2010

letters from athens / crete / evvia

I have many places on my long list to visit and eat and drink (noodles in southeast Asia, ham in Spain, Australia, more Argentina, Chile, Africa, anywhere and anything to eat in Mexico, Saag Paneer in India, Turkey, more Malbec in Argentina, Alaska, sushi in Japan, Peking duck in China, camp food in the Westy all over the US making stops at funny diners and useless tourist destinations) and I couldn't think of anything in Greece that would suck me in. Then comes my assignment to Crete and Evvia, and all of a sudden I taste the ocean in everything I eat. And eat. And eat. And the food doesn't stop coming until you really say 'I honestly can't fit another thing in my stomach'. It's good, healthy food, full of fish and greens. Heart disease is virtually unheard of over there, yet smoking a pack of cigarettes a day seems like the norm. Give up your lungs, but you have a healthy heart full of vitamins and omega-3.
Crete is one of those places where I would throw the map out the window. Where are we going? Who cares! Look at those sheep with giant bells, and the pine trees, and narrow alleyways, and abandoned structures, and that guy with a speedo, black socks, loafers, and a cigarette dangling! He looks like a sexy Henry Kissinger.