It’s not that I don’t like Berlin. I do. It’s a fabulous place to live and work, to free yourself from the fetters of a daily office. But returning last night from a vacation in the Greek islands, the Hauptstadt’s foggy summer and distinct lack of crystalline blue Mediterranean shorelines were almost hard to take.
I’ve fallen in love with Naxos, the largest of the Cyclades, where we spent most of the last week. It’s a cliche, this feeling. It’s what you do with an Aegean island, the way you ride a bike or fly an airplane. Barely more than simple grammar. But who am I to be proof against the object of a verb, or an environment this strong?
Ludicrously emerald seas, a little house shared with good friends a few minutes off the beach, waters perfectly warmed, perfectly cooled to keep us from frying at noon, weird barren rocky hills, brown against the intense blue of water and sky, white walls and blue shutters on every dwelling, parodic and eternally lovely (my pictures don’t do the place any justice, particularly since I ran out of batteries and motivation to get new ones). A corner of the island shockingly empty, given the time of year. Chilled retsina, milky ouzo, grilled octopus, perfectly fried fritters of eggplant and zucchini…
Yes, I love Berlin, but how can a gray tattered lady compete with this beauty? Once again, I embrace cliche: Who wants to help us start our impoverished writer’s colony in Greece?