Four days on Rhodos


As you may or perhaps may not know, I’m currently on a vacation in Greece. You may not know because I wasn’t in the mood to talk about it often. I am not very open on these kinds of things. I sometimes am an open person, but on some things, I’m also very secretive sometimes.

Well anyway, I’m on Rhodos in a small village called Kritinia. I perhaps should have written something about this before, and in part I did. Some of this post was written a few days ago. But I wasn’t really in the mood, for a while, to write about my vacation experiences. Just in the mood to write about my ideas and actually experience my experiences…. On to my vacation experiences.

The village, Kritinia, feels very small, and the community seems very close knit. I haven’t really talked to people in the village as much as I’d like, I did so barely at all, but this is how it seemed from a distance.

Something I noticed fairly early on, is that almost every home has a solar panel with a water storage device attached. To me this seemed very modern for a small village, especially considering the state of some of the houses.

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Most homes look just fine, sometimes a bit rough around the edges. One thing I observed was that lots of the houses have the steel that’s usually inside reinforced concrete sticking out of them. I kind of wish I had taken the opportunity to ask someone in the village about this is, but alas I didn’t.

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There were, however, also some homes that weren’t fine. They looked abandoned, and to most (or at least quite some) eyes I think they would look ugly. But I think there’s something beautiful in seeing such decay. Something not found in the slickness of a perfectly alright building.

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To someone who knows something (but not that much) about Kintsugi, Rhodos and specifically Kritinia is a beautiful place to behold. It is filled with things that have something broken but still function and which are, at least to my eyes, still beautiful. In some ways, this place is a lot better than the Netherlands, where it sometimes feels as if the streets are repaired so often, they barely have time to be roads.

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This last picture was from Rhodos city, not Kritinia. I went there Tuesday and did, what I in recent years found to be the most enjoyable way to visit a city. Just walk around a bit, get to know the streets and learn some of the routes from one point to another.

While I was in Rhodos city I met a woman named Maria, after I had stricken up a conversation with one of the men asking passersby for money.

From Maria I learned that the Greeks, don’t like that the British and the rest of the world call them Greece. Ok it might just be Maria’s opinion, but she seemed very adamant in me calling Greece H Eλλάδα (Ielláda) or H EλλαΣ (Iellas), and I’ve always found it strange that the English language calls the “Nederlandse taal” the Dutch language, instead of something that looks a bit more like the word “Nederlands” than the word Dutch does. After looking the words Greek and Hellenic up in my favourite online dictionary, I do think that there’s an ok reason the English call Greek Greek. Greek actually is the name of a group of Greek languages of which old/new ελληνική ( old/new Hellenic or old/new Greek) is one of many. But I’m not that sure. This is something I’ll ask my friend, who’s doing a master in classics, when I get back to the Netherlands.

Maria was a very interesting person to meet. We met outside a church and when we left I asked her if she believed in that god, while I pointed at the church. To which she answered that she believed in the old gods. Something that made me very happy. I always had a difficult time understanding how Christians (or Muslims and Jews for that matter) made sense of anything. Sure the explanations offered for the sea, thunder and the other phenomena offered by the ancient Greek gods aren’t needed anymore, but their multitude of gods at least makes people understand the chaos and injustice inherent in our world. Whereas the best you’ll get from too many Christians is something relating to God’s plan. I’m an atheist, so I don’t believe in the old Greek gods either, but to me having lots of Gods makes a lot more sense, when you look at the state of the world. I say this, but after reading a bit about religion in the last year or so, I have also come to understand that, at least if I understand it correctly, the Christians think the chaos in this world is necessary because God wanted humanity to have free will.

 

I think I’ll close this with an apology. Sorry Maria, but I think I’ll still be calling HΕλλάδα Greece quite often. I’ll try to call it HΕλλάδα when I can, but sometimes the convenience of being understood outweighs keeping trying to stay true to how the people living in a place call their country and language. I think I’ll talk to quite some people about this. So, your message will be spread, I hope that’s enough.

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