An American Author Embraces The Simple Life On A Greek Island

  • by XpatAthens
  • Thursday, 17 September 2015
An American Author Embraces The Simple Life On A Greek Island
The economic crisis in Greece has created widespread hunger, over 50 percent unemployment for Greek youth and extreme hardship, all in order to finance exponential profits for the banks. (This is a country that was once referred to as The Cradle of Western Civilization). I do not wish to imply that this is in any way acceptable.  I choose to tell this particular story at a time when the world is hearing only about devastating news and the attention-getting politics of the region.  Sometimes in times of tragedy, pockets of joy can be found.

It's August 2015.  I'm sitting on my coco-mat mattress - made of all natural rubber, coconut husk, and seaweed - in our tiny house in Tinos, Greece.  I'm watching Fifi, the carpenter, give instructions to his 20 year-old son.  Fifi, a native islander, is bushy-eyebrowed and gruff.  Out of nowhere he asks me to make him coffee.
I pick up the Bunsen burner from the tiled floor, find a box of matches in my purse, and go to the bathroom to fill up the stainless steel pot with water.  Fifi happily happily sips the coffee from a glass and lights his cigarette.

I'm so excited about the new white cabinets!  We already have a functional bathroom and soon will have a working kitchen in our 300 square-feet stone house overlooking the Mediterranen sea.

In June my Greek husband, George, and I sold our 1,850 square feet duplex apartment in an international co-housing community in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which we had helped build 17 years earlier.  The move entailed packing 6,800 pounds of accumilated stuff and putting it into storage in New Hampshire.

The Greek economic bank crisis dominated the news.  Geroge had taken $4,000 in one hundered dollar bills from the bank, slipping them into a money belt, in order to pay the workers.  The 60 Euro a day ATM limit was going to make it difficult for us to finish the house.

George, as eager as I was to start a new life, jumped at the idea of moving to his inherited property in the Cycladic Islands.  We had been married on this island, and our son had been baptized here.  After more than 30 years together, we finally could be impulsive and carefree.  We longed for a simpler way of life and hoped to find it in the fishing village of Panormos. 

To read more, please visit: The Huffington Post

Author Melissa Burch has worked as a filmmaker for CBS and the BBC, was featured in The New York Times, produced a national public television series, co-hosted a radio show on Voice America and has been a spiritual seeker for over thiry years.  Her forthcoming book, My Journey Through War And Peace, describes her adventures in war zones in Afghanistan and the Soviet Union and her peace efforts during the Cold War, as well as her inward spiritual journey.  To read more about Melissa, click HERE.