Radiant words, words of light, with rhythm and music, that is what poetry is might. A quote from a French poet named Théophile Gautier. Why am I quoting this?(I had to look it up first), simply because I wanted to find an opening to the rhythm I found!

The rhythm in my head and body is there. I am settled at work. Part-time work from 2 to 6. 2 hours of walking a day, 11 km in total. Work rotation to keep it interesting and sensible. And work on improvements at work. The people I meet because of my work are like the words and music. And all this together is poetry ?! With enough imagination you yes sure!

Now almost 2 months have passed and the flood of new experiences and emotions is somewhat over and processed, I am opening my eyes and focussing on other things. Do my first impressions about Athens differ from who she (Athens) really is? I am slowly discovering my living environment. I still think it’s too crowded but maybe that’s just my perception. (I may have a different reference framework). I even find that the Eleonas camp actually comes across as more peaceful.

I have to admit that when there is a big crowd there is also a lot of energy and things clearly happen. And that is what I am gradually focusing on. If working at the camp is the goal, then I must keep an eye on the path towards it. I once wrote to look outside the box. Busy So also now, not only forward focusing on the goal, but look around you and see what you pass. Before you know it it’s over!

Every year on March 25, Athens stands still for the Greek Independence Day, which commemorates the start of the Greek War of Independence in 1821. A working day for me but a national holiday for the Greeks and therefore they are having a day off.

In the morning I was already awakened by fighter planes and helicopters. And that a number of times. Therefore oversleeping really would not happen. On the way to camp Eleonas it appears that all streets and roads in the center are closed. At intersections there are policemen to divert traffic.

I came across a part of the parade and stopped to watch it. No heavy artillery and other weapons on display but especially military units that presented themselves and march.

I am among the Greeks who listen respectfully to the music and watch the folding of the flag belonging to a military unit.

Walked a little further and then as far as I can see all kinds of different military units, neatly and tightly lined. Unfortunately not really time to see more of the parade and what I am going to miss is presidential guard marching.

During my walks I also see the waste of a weekly market. This market is near the Eleonas camp. I see people and families who, it seems, are homeless burning the waste. It is a poor part of Athens where the refugees mainly get their fruit and vegetables. But also the people who promote their merchandise are poor. Food is sold from pick-ups with a frame on the loading platform on which their children are staying under a tarpaulin. As if the whole family is running their business.

Every free moment (weekend) I try to find some greens. Here and there a park. How spoiled I was with all the greens in the Netherlands. Yes, even in Almere! I could also go to the surrounding mountains where there should be enough trees and greens, but I haven’t done that yet.

I started to explore the historical places and try to imagine what the past was like here in Athens. How the legends came about. Imagine how the ruins have been restored to their former glory. Well, I don’t manage so well must be because of all the scaffolding. Standing at the foot of the Acropolis. Actually the best place for the common people. They could look up to the divine, the higher ness and the unreachable.

There are plenty of churches and the National Archaeological Museum. The churches in which I find a wonderfully serene place, and the splendor and gold, which the Protestant church of the Christian faith has renounced. I wonder the contrast with the reality that the weekly market and its waste shows.

And then the places that apparently it’s all about, Plaka and Monesteraki. The shopping streets, restaurants, bars the bustling and exciting life. At the foot of the Acropolis. How hard I tried to imagine, to picture this place without the crowd, I didn’t succeed. So I fled the crowds. It seems that the Albert Cuyp market in Amsterdam is an oasis of peace in comparison with this place.

My first impressions still hold, but I do see pearls.