Athens Day Three
On Easter Sunday my sister and I get up and drive to the summer house where Mummy and Daddy have gone earlier in the morning and then some more relatives turn up (cousins? aunts? uncles? I can’t be sure) and everyone starts eating whole spit roast lambs, lamb intestines including lamb bowels (not kidding) and kidneys and livers – a meal that a cousin affectionately refers to as a cholesterol party.
This is a picture of our lamb on the spit. Looking back at it now, I’m thinking maybe I should have eaten some.
During the day my parents also make and receive dozens of phonecalls from other relatives, more remote relatives, random acquaintances they haven’t spoken to since last year, to wish them a happy Easter. In Greece Easter is bigger than Christmas, New Year’s Eve and national holidays combined.
My part in this is: I eat the chicken I’ve made Mummy cook for me / tell everyone stories about my girlfriend in London / avoid to mention my relocation to Australia under Mummy’s instructions (it’s too shameful to tell the wider family) / wish a happy Easter to the occasional great-uncle when I’m forced to by Daddy on the phone / answer the question “when are you going to come back and live in Greece and stop hurting your parents” numerous times as politely and vaguely as I can.
By 1400 I’ve completely lost interest in any of this, I’m growing increasingly tired and grumpy, I have nothing to do, there is no internet connection at the summer house and the TV reception is appalling, so I go in one of the rooms and lie there on the bed and start rating all my songs on iTunes.
Then my sister drives us home, then Mummy and Daddy also come, then everyone interferes in each other’s business and makes intrusive decisions about everyone else’s life (as Greek people do) and then it’s bedtime.
On Monday morning I happen to be at the airport, so I catch a flight back to London.
By Monday evening I’m single, but we don’t talk about a) love, b) sex and c) work here, we never have and we never will.