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I’ve long wondered why it is I have such a love for this country. Today I received an email from a friend, and I think it sums up my connection to Greece rather accurately. And of course, for the vast majority of American women, I think it just may be the number one reason to visit Greece.

I may be a pasty-faced white woman with working-class German and American roots, but I think my soul is Greek.

I love this country. I’m writing from Greece, where I have discovered an entire country of people who share my values: eating and talking.

I have hit the mother lode. The food is soaked in olive oil, everything is topped with crumbling feta and the people are the most enthusiastic, exuberant talkers I’ve ever met in my life.

Forget the land of milk and honey, I’m in the land of goat cheese and gossip. And I love it. OK, technically I don’t know if they’re gossiping or not, and I have no idea what the heck is in the cheese. But the enthusiasm with which the Greeks talk and eat tells me they are kindred spirits.

I’ve spent my whole life being told to calm do wn and much of my adult life struggling with my weight. Who knew that the answer to my problems was just an ocean away?

goddessI don’t talk and eat too much; I was just mistakenly placed on the wrong continent. Nobody in Greece thinks it’s weird if you need to stand up and gesture wildly while you’re telling a story. Nor do they think it’s strange for a grown woman to sop up oil with bread, throw plates or dance around with strangers. The hosts in restaurants actually kiss you and hug you when you walk in, and nobody says, “Gawd mom, get a grip on yourself; you don’t even know those people.”

Did I mention that the Greek women have hips, thighs and tummies? No anorexics here; this is a country where real women jiggle. Most of the Greek women I’ve seen not only have a little extra padding around the middle, but get this, they flaunt it.

For the most part, it’s tan flab, so it looks a lot better than my white flab. But if you’ve ever had the horror of having to stand next to a woman from Paris or New York, you’ll be delighted to know that the Greek women are about 40 percent bigger and 50 percent less self conscious than waifs from other parts of the world. They don’t care if their hips spill out over the top of their pants; they just order another round of olives & ouzo and keep talking.
Jiggly women, tons of food and non-stop talking, these are my people all right.

I may not speak the language or be bronze enough to pass as a l ocal, but in my mind, I am already one of them. Arguing over mussels, philosophizing over moussaka and jumping up and down when discussing the price of sandals, these people really know how to live.

Is it any wonder Greece was the birthplace of democracy, philosophy and theater? It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you’re not trying to diet or stifle your emotions.

Did I mention that the women here have voluptuous hips and thighs?

It’s unlikely that I’m going to become an actual Greek citizen any time soon, so I’ll just have to settle for a few more days of eating and talking.
But be forewarned America, I’m coming home a changed woman. I am a Greek Goddess. I talk loud and I eat a lot, and if you don’t like it, too bad. I hear Aphrodite was a chubby, chatty chick.

© Copyright 2009, by Lisa Earle McLeod. All rights reserved.

By Athensguide

How does a little girl from Skokie, Illinois find herself in historical Athens, leading curious explorers through the winding streets of Plaka, down "pezodromos" to hidden ouzeries for tempting mezedhes and homemade barrel wine? The journey began more than twenty years ago, and regardless of whether the wanderlust comes from the spiritual and culture DNA flowing through my veins, or the alignment of the stars on that cold mid-December day this Sagitterian came into the world, I never seem to tire of exploring my adopted homeland of Greece. Here you'll join me as I explore Athens: be it the back streets of Psirri and Gazi, or through the National Gardens and Zappeio where a family of turtles makes their home, or down wide, treelined Imittou Street in Pagrati, which pulses with Athenian life 24 hours a day. And while Athens has stolen my heart, the rest of Greece vies for my curiousity and wanderlust. My two guys (that'd be the Greek God, Vasilis and our Greek dog, Scruffy) and I can often be found settling in for a long weekend in some charming mountain village, or a quaint fishing port on a nearby island, or learning how Greek vitners are producing wines that rival some of Napa Valley's finests productions, or celebrating a panayeri in Epirus or sharing in the festivities as a family of Cretan sheepherders come together to sheer their 1500 sheep in the spring ... And if you happen to find yourself heading to Athens, consider finding yourself a real home for your stay. Living amongst the locals, be it for 3 nights or 3 weeks, will offer you the chance to experience true Athens, beyond the Acropolis. Choose from one of our 5 beautiful penthouse and historical homes, and who knows, I may be leading you down that winding "pezodromo" to our favorite hidden ouzerie!

4 thoughts on “I am a Greek Goddess!”
  1. Oh Carole, I love you!
    Obviously not in a bed-rocking, boot-knocking way. But I love the fact that in a few paragraphs you have so eloquently summized how I feel about Greece too.
    Unfortunately I am not jiggly (darned English skinny chick) but what I’ve got, I am more than happy to shake in ATH clubs. And thank you so much for your guide to the bouzoukia – you solved my quest for which one to go to next time I am over, seeing as Ploutarxos is away on tour at the mo. Parios, here we come!
    Peace, love and filakia!

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