Tags: it's all greek to me


Mediterranean Sunset

I can see why all those authors, poets and painters found themselves in the Greek isles some times. There’s something very peaceful about the Mediterranean. I found myself this week in Matala, a tiny little village in the south of Crete. The place isn’t much more than a handful of houses, hotels and restaurants around a beach and a cliff face, and in the summer is overrun by busloads of tourists, but somehow it still manages to retain a lot of charm. From the stony beach to the Roman grave-caves dug into the rock (overrun, in turn, by hippies in the 60’s), there is a peaceful charm to it.

We avoided the hotels and found a couple of rooms to rent, as is the custom there – a couple have a tiny apartment on the cliff-face, and slowly add another floor, another wing, until they have a 5-room complex connected by metals stairs and bougainvillea. It’s off the main village square, overlooking restaurants, cliffs and the sea, and the view from our veranda combined with the chill September winds at sunset made for a place I can see Hemingway returning to, summer after summer, to sit and write. Start the morning with a dip in the sea followed by several hours at a makeshift desk overlooking the water, then lunch of seafood and retsina, back to some writing, and in the evening sitting in the taverna with German families and British backpackers over wine and olives.

It is not a bad life.
And some of the tavernas have wifi.

The view from the veranda over the cave-studded cliff-face.Sea and Cliff 
Bougainvillea-studded staircase.Staircase with Flowers
  Matala at sunsetSea at Sunset  

Font of Wisdom, or It’s All Greek To Me

The Greek typefaces are lovely. Symbols familiar from mathematical contexts and college fraternity movies suddenly given life as meaningful words. Deltas and omegas do thetas and mu, and deciphering signs becomes an algebraic equation with infinite variables. One sign results in “Exodus” and the biblical reference strikes before you realize it is nothing, in fact, but an exit.

Bonus tidbit #1: The letters Omega and Omicron, both pronounced pretty much identically these days, were originally a “Large O” and a “Small O” – “O mega” and “O micron”. Never noticed that until my brother pointed it out.

Bonus tidbit #2: The word for street is ODOS, and can be seen on all street signs as ΟΔΟΣ. You can’t help but feel, at first, that it’s a Playstation key combination. Noticed how three of the four playstation keys are Greek letters?