I'm back in Athens as of very early Tuesday morning, and the inability to have grieved has affected me badly. It's only today that I don't feel like I'm moving through glue, and somehow it feels like now it's too late for my tears - the moment has passed, and what a bitter pill to swallow are the tears of grief.
On the ride from the airport to my flat, I began to cry for our lost friend, for my relief at being home, but once again I had to stop because going beserk in the back of a taxi is not the best idea at 3 am. It was my most expensive taxi ride because so desperate was I to get through the front door and back to my normal life, so happy was I at this stranger delivering me to my doorstep that I shoved a EUR 50 note into his hands and took no change.
Watching pre-election debates, sometimes I wish I really could talk to party leaders of the right wing, anti-immigration parties like LA.OS. I know they wouldn't listen, but I would say this:
I followed the Greek I loved to his land and fell in love with Greece. When my plane landed here on Tuesday morning, I felt a rush of relief. Riding in the taxi in the small hours of the morning, past the sleeping olive groves and the mountains that have seen so much and had so much blood spilled on them, I felt like Athens herself was saying to me "You are now home, it's okay to let go now."
The stress of the previous week released and tears rolled down my face because I realised that what Mr Zeus had always told me was true: Greece is not a place, Greece is a feeling, and if you open your heart she will talk to you. It's those that can't open their hearts that will never be happy here.
Greece spoke to me on Tuesday morning as clear as an actual voice in my ears and I cried that an alien land had accepted me so unquestioningly into her embrace. Greece - halfway between the Home Country and the UK, my new home, the home I love, where I am at long last free.
So please, don't judge all us foreigners with the same standards. It may be hard for you to understand, but some of us love Greece as much as you do, maybe even more, because we were not taught this love from birth, we felt it of our own free will. I may not be able to roll off the history of Greece on my fingertips or name all her past leaders, but I can certainly tell you what is right here in my heart, in my gut.
Here's to the ones we love, who we should all hold a little bit closer because for all the fights and for all the frustration, they are here, we are here, and life is beautiful no matter what the colour.