Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The city I come from, and the town I live in...

   I think I should have made this post earlier, but as the saying goes ' better late than never'...
   I was born and raised in Athens, in a rather central neighbourhood called Pagrati. It’s  location is great because it is close enough to many important places, and although it is considered a centre, at the same time it is not. We have Acropolis in 3km distance,  Syntagma square (where the parliament is) at 2.5 km, the centre of Athens at 4 km, and so on... The trademark of Pagrati is Panathinaikon Stadium, an all marble stadium that hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.
The problem started, when I realised that the neighbourhood I grew up was not there anymore, and Athens as well.
Everything around me seemed to be changing fast in the last years, and not in a good way. 
Pagrati became more populated, noisier, more polluted, and so on.
Exactly the same thing I can say about Athens, but in a larger scale. Don't get me wrong, I love Athens, I love my old neighbourhood, and I believe that is a very interesting place with many things to see and live. But in the last 5-6 years I started to realise that I didn’t want to live in a big city anymore. I was thinking what it was that the life in this city was offering me. Well, not much I had to admit. Maybe as I am growing older my priorities are changing, or maybe the quality of my life was getting worse year by year, or maybe both.
  It all started when for the first time in my life I was thinking how it would be to live in a small town and not in a central metropolis of almost 5.000.000 people.
The truth is, it was very difficult for me to imagine such a thing, because I had never lived anywhere else. (Except for small holiday periods here and there).
After giving some thought on that matter, I started discussing it with my wife (who is Turkish as I have mentioned in another post here), and we were both trying to figure out what to do, and what were our options. We didn't come to any conclusion then, and we let it hang for a while.
  Two things happened that made us start all over again thinking about these things: The birth of our first child Alexandros, and the forthcoming crisis.
For almost a year we were trying to find out what to do, how to do it, when, etc... We were considering every option that looked logical. We changed our minds 3-4 times about where we would live in Greece, and finally we decided something totally different!
 We were to move to Turkey! To be honest the idea was very scary for me.
This scenario was maybe the most difficult above all the others we had discussed so far.
   My wife comes from Istanbul, another huge metropolis. But in the last years  her parents had moved out and now they are living in a town next to the sea in the Aegean coastline of Turkey. The town is called Didim and took it’s name from the ancient Greek town that was in the same place called Didimos and was very famous for the temple of Apollo and the oracle center that were there once upon a time. So we thought that this was our best shot for many reasons.
   First of all, this town was kind of what we had in mind. The area looks a lot like Greece, the environment, the food, the climate, etc.
Second of all we had let's say a job ready waiting for us, as my wife's father owns a very big shop there and he needs all the help he can get.
   Didim is a medium size town for the standards of Turkey. On winter is about 50.000 people, but in summer there is a big increase on this number, especially because many Europeans (mostly English) are staying here 4-5 months, from spring till autumn. There are also about 4000 English living in Didim and around, throughout the year. Didim’s main income resource I believe is tourism, therefore you can find many restaurants, bars, cafe’s, and even a couple of clubs. In other words that means that at least half year is lively enough. The other half though.... :(
I’m not gonna get into details about the moving process, but I assure you it was a nightmare! We sold a few things, gave others as presents, we did throw many, and finally because of very bad luck and a stupidity we did, almost all our electronic goods were stolen. That includes, a pc, a laptop, Tv, a surround system, couple of dvd players, a play station etc... I have to admit that this incident was a serious blow!
After all these wonderful  things, we moved here and we tried to start a new life. Right now that I’m writing this, we are still trying... It’s almost a year we are here, and in this year I found many things that  I like and enjoy, and many I don’t like. But that’s normal I guess...
   The life here is more simple in general, calmer, without the stress that Athens was giving me.
We also found a nice house with a garden so the little monster can enjoy himself, we have many beautiful places to swim around, but on the other hand I’m missing many things that  I was used to all these years in Athens, and most of all my friends and my family. Well, I guess that is one of the prices I have to pay.
One of the main reasons I started this blog is to have something to occupy myself with, and not die of boredom! Hehehehe.
 As you can see already, I have added a few pictures in this post. On the top half are from Pagrati, and at the down half from Didim, so you can see how  the places I’m writing about looks like...
Thanks for reading this... :)