Girl-on-Greece: The Incredibly True Adventures of a Gay History Nerd in Love with Mount Olympus

Delphi: It sounds straight out of a Disney Movie but I promise you it happened.

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We started to hit our stride as a group in Delphi.  Any shyness people felt at the beginning was lost and with no big excursions on the itinerary that day, we could really experience it.

foodWe ate lunch at a beachside family-owned restaurant where every dish was caught daily and a four course meal only cost 14 euro. I tried to mix up who I sat/ate with each day and for that particular lunch I sat with the Puerto Rican girls; there were nine of them and they had all been close friends for many years.  I don’t know if any of you are aware of the bond between Puerto Rican woman, but it’s something of an anomaly.  During the meal they laughed, sang, danced, shimmied, asked me lots of questions, and made sure to direct all of their stories at me so I felt included.  They were the perfect hosts!

When we got back from lunch we had time to walk around the small mountain town surrounding our hotel. It was about 3 blocks long, and looked a bit like New Orleans French Quarter.  The streets were lined with Duplex-style buildings decorated with permanent lights and plants hung from every porch.

We walked through the entire town and only saw ONE person the whole time — an old woman on a porch above us who shook out her rug against the railing. She was smiling and singing “‘Yia sou, yia sou!”  This is straight out of a Disney movie, but it happened.

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Fun-Gay or Awkward Gay?

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Later, we followed our usual dinner/drinks/dancing routine and by this point, it was becoming clearer and clearer that I was the only gay of the tour. (Judging from our numbers though and employing statistical facts about homosexuality, there should have been like 3 more, but WHO’S COUNTING.)

I bring this up because I haven’t talked about anything gay yet, and because it came into play that night. No no, unfortunately for me no one got drunk enough for play time–I had to burst a boy’s very publicized-unbeknownst-to-me bubble.

We were all having fun on the dance floor and one of the Australian guys–who had sort of become our tour’s ringleader and who up to this point hadn’t talked to me much–danced over and very casually said, “So I think I may be in love with you!” and continued to dance in rhythm with the music.

He had a very fun, jokey personality so I thought he was kidding and probably high-fived him, because that’s what mature adults do.

But as I kept dancing, I could feel every-one’s eyes in our general direction. You know, like when you are in middle school and everyone but one person is in on something and the shit hits the fan and that one person is like “REALLY YOU GUYS? YOU ALL KNEW?!”

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This is How We Party

There was obviously some liquid courage going on, and normally I have no problem telling people I’m gay– and usually I have to because the non-gay world has a pretty specific idea about what they think a gay lady looks like and it ain’t me — but something about the whole situation and how much he was putting himself out there made me feel like I needed to tell him in a respectful way.  Like, not while we were dancing to Justin Timberlake?

As if all of this wasn’t awkward enough, his sister, who had a very Regina George air to her, danced over to me (again with the dancing!) and said, “He’s a good boy.”

I did some weird laugh noise and she said, “No really, I wouldn’t just say that about anyone. He’s a good guy.”

How she said it was all very ‘Oh my god I love your skirt, where did you get it?’  But anyway the next day he apologized he was so forward but that he meant everything he said and then very gentlemanly wondered if I would like to get a coffee.

It was on this walk to the cafe that I broke the news, and though I was fairly certain that had never happened/would never happen again to him, he couldn’t have been nicer about the whole thing.

This little hiccup didn’t stop this trip from becoming one of the best weeks of my life.

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I could go on and on about what else I saw and experienced but I think I’ll just leave you with this scene, straight out of the movie of my actual life, which will play in my head forever, Hollywood be damned: Cruising the open seas of the Mediterranean at night, our multicultural group takes to the top of the ship where the temperature has cooled and deck has been lit  — maybe the unlimited drinks are in play and maybe our bellies are full of cheese pies, greek salads, gyros and baklava.

This song (which will come to haunt my every silent moment) is playing at the speakers’ capacity and there is no such thing as self-awareness; there is only smiling and clapping and synchronized movement and the realization that this is the zenith of fun. We are our own little United Nations solving the world’s problems. And dancing, too.

Next: Incredible Photos from Erin’s Real Hollywood Greece Trip

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15 Comments

  1. see, this is exactly the type of thing I would talk about doing but probs. not do haha.

    “So sometimes you just have to say Fuck it and see if anyone responds to your ironic “rave hands.” ~ this made me laugh cause it is a situation I often find myself in

    the pictures are so prettttyyyyy!

  2. I went on a similar tour in early June. We went to Athens, Olympia, Argos, Delphi, Mykynos, Crete, Patmos, Rhodes, Santorini and Kusadasi (turkey) I loved it. It was amazing to see so many renown and historical sites.

    P.s. I also went to Italy too. There highway is called the autostrade!

  3. lynne: gooooo! bite the bullet and make yourself–if even for the food alone. mmmm cheese pie.

    msNJS: ummmm were you on my tour?! that was my tour exactly. jk, i would have known and we would have hung out but was your main tour guide a little bitty named joanne?

    IN emily: it was really incredible. unbelievable at times. for example, i looked through the same hole where the oracle gave her predictions (and was on tons of acid!) in the temple at delhi.

  4. I’m a first generation Greek American (foist is an anagram of my first name – Fotis) and I just want to say that I really enjoyed your post. That and I’m unbelievably jealous that I can’t visit this summer. I’m glad you enjoyed your trip to Greece and hope you consider going back someday. I’ve been 5 times for what has been a total of over a year of vacation and still have only skimmed the surface of what Greece has to offer. Next time I go (plans are currently in the works), I’ll be climbing (or hiking is probably more accurate) Mount Olympus. And not to be a downer but as a cultural FYI, someone who is gay is more often than not referred to as “anomalos” – it’s from the same Greek root we get the English word anomaly.

  5. The trip sounded fantastic. :) You took such lovely photos!

    I had an attack of the sentimental while standing in the British Museum once … all of that history has a certain amount of emotional weight.

    @foist The Ancient Greek term for a female homosexual was “hetairistriai,” according to my copy of Plato’s Symposium … but it would probably sound a bit pretentious to use it in a contemporary setting. (That, and way too many people are traumatized by philosophy classes to even consider Plato an interesting read …) Compared to the various Ancient Greek words, the feminine of “anomalos” seems so boring. :(

    • Don’t hold me to the transliteration but in modern Greek, “omofilofilos” means homosexual but you seldom hear that when speaking. “Anomalos,” which I don’t take as being politically correct, is more akin the the word queer. It’s considered slang and often used in reference to men even though it can apply to both sexes. Then there’s “lesbia” for lesbians. There’s your usual derogatory terms as well, which I won’t go into detail here. As far as Ancient Greek, I’m pretty sure there was no real word for homosexual. Dr. Bonnie Zimmerman’s “The Encyclopedia of Lesbian and Gay Histories and Cultures” has a pretty good take on it, Plato, and Classical literature in general if you’re into that kind of stuff. Thanks for the reply – it’s not everyday you come across someone who’s read Plato.

  6. foist: thanks so much! and what a fun name you have. do you go by a variation of it? ’cause i know a ‘panagiota’ and she goes by ‘penny’, ha. where abouts is your family from?

    kaye: i’m learning so much from you two! also, w/r/t the museum/history femotions thing: right?!

  7. Eeek I’m jealous. I’d love to visit all those places, but my next trip has already been set to Toronto in August. Maybe next time… I’d kill to visit the Theatre of Dionysus, go back in time and do the City Dionysia (festival.) I’m such a sucker for ancient Greek plays. Looks like fun! Thanks for sharing. (:

  8. Erin: Frank is the American equivalent for Fotis. Everyone calls me Fotis though and frankly, Frank sounds like the name for an old, senile grandpa. It never appealed to me as a nickname. Anyway, my family is from Agia Paraskevi – a small village (population less than 500) approximately 100 miles NW of Athens: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=agia+paraskevi&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&ie=UTF8&hl=en&ll=38.582727,22.742987&spn=0.016539,0.038581&t=h&z=15. Also, the tidbit about accents was funny but you never mentioned where you’re from.

  9. foist: ohhh your town looks amazing. and i’m sure we passed that general area–in which case, i probably told people i wanted to buy a house in your town.

    i’m from georgia but have absolutely no accent; something i’ve worked very hard at. but you know how americans are when they get around brits/aussies. at this point we know they say things like ‘loo’ and ‘tosser’ and ‘pissed’, but we still can’t help ourselves.

    • Looks like we’re neighbors – I live and work in Birmingham, AL. Ha, but yeah, I know what you mean about their own words and phrases that they use. Random fact I came across recently: only after rereading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince did I look this up and realize that “er,” “erm,” and “eh” aren’t pronounced like they’re spelled, at least in American English. In American, it’s the same as “uh,” “um,” and “aye.” They’re transcribed different in British English but both ways make the same sounds. Anyhoo…

  10. Very resourceful and informative post!!! Elda Hotel is a family hotel and one can come here with the entire family to spend some quality time with them. The warm hospitality and friendly nature of the Pelion hotel staff let one unwind in an unknown environment with a feeling of security and being pampered at the same time.

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