Readers’ experiences

An acquaintance in Sifnos…

It was summer, I remember. I had just finished my Panhellenic exams, probably the most difficult and stressful moment in my entire adolescence. I took a deep breath. I didn’t want to see a book in front of me. All I wanted was to calm down, to forget everything, to change my mood and performances. Then, together with my friends, we decided to go on holiday for a few days in Sifnos.

I wasted no time, packed my bags and was ready for my first getaway! We arrived quickly and beautifully, the sun was shining and shouting from everywhere that summer is coming. The sea was clear blue and many times the waves were crashing against the rocks. And the days went by without a care in the world, all the stress of the exams had left me and my soul was at peace. The wonderful flavours of the island, the whitewashed houses and the beautiful clay statues had thrilled us and we wanted those days to never end. The sweet pasteli and almond buns gave even more sweetness in our days. One day I decided to wake up early and go for a short walk by myself. I wanted to secretly buy some gifts for my friends and some acquaintances.

Walking around the shops and letting my eyes get lost in the windows of the pastry shops and tourist shops, I stumbled and bumped into a young man who was also browsing the shops at that moment. I “ran” immediately to make amends. I justified my distraction by my enthusiasm and apologized. He was interested in me and told me he was happy to meet me, even if it came from a misstep! He told me he was an islander. He was a young man with a kindly face and radiated a gentleness. We talked for a long time, exchanged some views about the island and talked about our dreams and aspirations. When the time passed and I wanted to return to the hotel, we said goodbye with a warm and cordial handshake. When the day came when we were going back to Athens I passed by that shop for a while, but I didn’t see him. Entering the ship, I think I saw a hand in the distance waving goodbye to me….

Maria Scabardoni