Friday, November 16, 2012


Splurged on a taxi from the bus station to my father's cousin's house in Paleon Faliron yesterday. I have known Soula for a long time, but haven't seen her for many, many years. Her mother and my father's mother were sisters from Naoussa in Macedonia (Northern Greece, not the former Southern Yugoslavia)..

Soula Theophilou was born in Naoussa, moved to Athens under duress of the Civil War which took her father's life, married Mario Chrysopoulos, and spent 8 years in Salt Lake City while her husband (civil engineer) was going to school. Her uncle Michael was a top policeman here in Athens during the aforementioned Polytechnical School incident. Marios died in a tragic accident in Chalkidhiki some years ago. Soula welcomed me with open arms and had prepared stuffed cabbage and individualized Naoussaiko pita for lunch -- what a mensch!

Thea Soula & her Naoussaiki Pita

We reminisced about family stuff, me taking notes on my family tree sheet and hoping I'll be able to read them later. We were joined by her niece Maria, and we went out for a stroll -- rather chilly last night down by the waterfront, unlike the Southern climes I had just left. Maria had taken her summer vacation in Kiparissi, what a weird coincidence! We drank tsipuro, a strong, clear ouzo-like beverage that they prefer because it is purer with no hangovers.

People in the suburbs seem a bit detached from, if not disdainful of, the political turmoil in Central Athens. They want to know about the Petraus Incident, which seems to be much-discussed with rumors I have not been aware of. Maria, an archaeologist, has produced some family photos for me to look at.

This morning I am taking the tram to central Athens to meet up with a former student of mine who used to work for Konstantine Karamanlis when he was president of Greece. Eager to see what's going on downtown. We are meeting at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier...
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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