Friday, August 26, 2016

A Bridge Built by Brits

Relationships are directly linked to physical health and psychological well being, sometimes positive, sometimes negative. There's much research to back this up but it's something I've always suspected based on my own experiences.

When I first came to Margariti, I had only my husband, Nick, with whom I could converse. I interacted with others but rarely by choice. And without understanding the language, it was mostly an anxiety filled encounter. The solution seemed to lie within the language. It was the bridge to a fulfilling life, the missing piece in a perfect setting, the holy grail.

If I could just learn Greek . . .

But Nick and I rarely stayed more than two months at a time. We would return to the U.S., to life, which does not often give you the chance to do what you want, when there's so much that's needed to be done. But I kept trying with Greek language books, with satellite Greek television, and then computer programs when they came into existence. And each of these got me just a tiny bit closer, but still there remained a large gaping canyon between me and relationships of substance. Eventually I acquired a survival-type Greek and with it Greek-speakers often assumed that I knew more than I was revealing. (Something no one ever does, when given the choice of interaction or loneliness.) There were casual friendships that stayed just outside of intimacy, people with whom I wanted to share so much but could only sit on the periphery of their conversations.

And then suddenly, there it was. The beginning construction of a bridge.

Ah, but it wasn't the Greek language that was building it. With one brick at a time, it was the English expats who've made this area near Margariti their permanent home. Slowly the gaping canyon narrowed with the camaraderie of those who understood my plight, people with whom I could discuss an array of topics. Someone other than my own significant other. So bit by bit, as one new relationship after another blossomed, I felt the missing pieces of my Margariti life arrange themselves.

And the most wonderful thing has happened. Yes, it's glorious to have found so many English-speakers with whom I enjoy spending time. But better than that is the bridge.

As it takes form, it connects two worlds, those two that are so dear to my heart. English friends sit with the Greeks of Margariti sharing good times and sweet conversations. It's a bridge built by Brits! And I thank them.

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  1. It must have been very difficult for you in the early days of your marriage. I can't imagine not being able to understand the language of your husband's family.

  2. Michelle James, Thank you for stopping by! I'm honored. Yes, it was difficult but then again, some people have told me: not understanding their in-law's language would have been something they preferred ; )

  3. Where are you Linda, I'm on Crete