Missing the national holiday parade

Credits @ Ioanna Plakogiannaki

This is Yannis, my instructor, with some children I haven’t met. Yet. The fact that he constructed his club with his own hands, with the help of just one immigrant worker makes him appear so special to his friends and students. Credits @ Ioanna Plakogiannaki

Here’s one more depressing post. You have been warned.

I might feel homesick, but I avoid saying that, because relatives and friends automatically assume that I don’t want to study anymore and that I want to go home. Kinda forever. But, since this is not the case and England is the place where I plan to become 30 this summer, I’ve just suck it up.

But some little, “family” things admittedly have so much value. Value that is not estimated in cash or any other material stuff. It has to do with bonding, tradition etc. If you have never lived abroad, you can’t understand. I have discussed it with other Greek students as well. It’s not the desire to quit your future (and the expensive, time-consuming investment you are making on it) just to go back and keep swimming and sunbathing forever. It’s just the fact that you are not there. They want you there (albeit now and forever) and you want to be there (albeit not before you’re done with what you are doing). It sucks, because you feel like being broken into pieces for every single loved one, human or not. You want to be here, but you also want to be there.

This is how I felt on the 25th of March. This day is Greece’s independence anniversary (or, to be correct, what is actually celebrated is our independence revolution). Usually the equestrian club participate in the local parade. Don’t ask why, since it’s such a small place, many clubs march in order to keep the event long enough for a formal family day out. And Yannis’ equestrian club is the only one in Ierapetra, Crete.

The club march with all the horses, with some riders on horseback. Yannis and other riders hold the horses by the reins (you can never be sure with horses, especially if thousands of small flags are moved back and forth right at their faces, a presenter yelling at a microphone, friends and parents applauding and cheering, a philarmonic orchestra playing march melodies etc. etc. And I bet you don’t want to see Zimas and Bebis spook. No-no.). And younger riders are holding a huge Greek flag. I felt so depressed that I wasn’t with them. I just wanted so much to march with the people I love. I miss them all terribly.

And I feel even more depressed when I think that I had promised twice to come back. One was for the October 28th parade (the anniversary of the Greek resistance to the Axis in 1940) and the other one was about Easter, which I had long promised, but I can’t carry out (I hoped to replace a two-day journey with a charter flight, given the situation I’ve been facing on the health front). Last October was so special; I was expected to return to march on Bebis. But this didn’t happen. And I don’t want to think about what will happen if the kids realise that I’m not spending the Easter holidays with them this year, although I had promised. And I already feel bitter about that, but not much is up to you in the adult world in the end.

No matter how high you jump or sweetly you blink your eyes or tightly you hug somebody, there are things that can’t happen, even if they have had the priority on your plans for so long.

Thanks for reading. I hope I could offer some virtual tissues, but obviously I can’t do that either.

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