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Nothing stays the same and nothing changes… (part 2)

Thursday afternoon…

I’m ready. I put my Spotify on and After all comes up first… ‘tou tou tou tou tou tou...After all I really love you‘.  I smile. I loved this song since  the first moment I heard it, when a friend sent it to me a while ago. It never fails to cheer me up.

I packed all I need and waiting for the little one to pick me up. First stop, her Italian oral exam. Somehow half an hour later I find myself sitting with her and her course mate in the classroom. Stefano invited me in, I smiled and nodded. What a lovely man. Funky yellow trousers, cool glasses, a sweet, polite voice.

I’m surprised how much Italian I remember. I’m so proud of my little sis and her classmate. They did brilliantly.

I chat to a couple of her classmates afterwards, nervously waiting outside. I wish I could tell them that none of this really matters… Enjoy your life little ones and don’t worry about exams. But would have I listened if I was told that ten years ago when I was in their shoes?

Now… what should I have for dinner on Tuesday when I arrive back in Southampton late and exhausted? What about moving? What if I don’t find a place and have nowhere to stay, what if the agency messes up me and I have to stay another two months? (Cold sweat…) Stop it! Focus!

Now the exam is over it’s time to head to the theatre for a final rehearsal and the show.

There’s no signal in the theatre and I can’t use my phone. That’s for the best. It can be my worst distraction sometimes…

A few hours later…

Tickets sorted, all ready, it’s showtime!

It all went well minus a couple of hiccups. I feel bad I didn’t recognise the Vice Chancellor straight away. I’ve only seen a photo of him the day before and there was a mess up with the tickets… I didn’t instantly figure it out. But all well.

I’m so proud for my little sister and everyone involved in the musical. None of them is a professional singer or an actor but they put together a brilliant show. Now, let’s help pack, tidy up and go home…

 

 

I can’t unlock the car, why can’t I unlock the car?

I knew it! The long beep I’ve heard earlier when we were rushing out of the car was the lights. I told her. She thought it was the door…

Now it’s half past midnight and other than one more person, who didn’t have any equipment to help us start jump the car anyway there’s no one else left at the car park.

After about an hour, we are finally home. A friend came to the rescue and it all ended well. God I’m exhausted…

Friday noon…

I finally got some sleep. I still feel drained but there’s no rest for the wicked.

The little sis and I pop to the shops for some essentials. The guy at the newsagents starts a conversation… Surprised, I stare for a second and then I remember where I am and how people are different here. I smile and make a joke. I’ve adapted again, a couple of days before I’m about to leave…

Friday afternoon…

I’m meeting two of my oldest best friends. We’ve known each other since high school. We haven’t changed much, other than carrying our bruises and scars of the last 18 years, hopeful but more realistic and scared to dream as big…

And… a lovely surprise! A friend I haven’t seen for ten years, a friend I spent endless evenings just driving around town with, nights out and days at the beach as a naive and careless 20 year old. So happy to see him. He looks exactly the same. He talks exactly the same, strikingly honest as always but he as well more mature and pragmatic about life.

Saturday morning…

This is the only time during my short visit the five of us are all together and it’s hilariously chaotic as always. We go for a walk at the beach, still a bit too cold for a swim but perfect for a Saturday stroll and lunch. I can’t stop humming ‘tell me how to be in this world, tell me how to breathe in and feel no hurt’…

I cherish these rare moments, that’s what they are nowadays, rare and they will get rarer the older we get.

It’s funny how as a teen, even a young 20 year old, we dread family time with our parents and our siblings but the older we get, the more we realise the fragility of life and how thing may change at any minute, the more we appreciate the sacrifices they made and still make for us, their selfless love and the only thing they want in return is for us to be happy and spend time with them…

 

Saturday afternoon…

I finally get to see the only best friend I couldn’t see at Christmas. We sit at a cafe for hours chatting, with a coffee in hand, like we used to back at uni.

A few hours later we are having beers right next to the Faneromeni church with her fiance, his brother and my sister. It feels like a scene from Boyhood… but a few years later, now some 30 year olds who’ve known each other for years, sitting at a bar, just outside one of the oldest churches in Nicosia, having a beer, still troubled and  desperate seeking the meaning of life whilst reminiscing… What a beautiful, surreal way to end the day.

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Sunday noon…

No matter what you have planned for the day, there is always time for a cup of coffee and almost always the company grows at the last minute.

Sunday afternoon…

After some shopping and… a coffee with friends and sisters it’s time for my godson’s belated birthday. I’m so happy I’ve been to his first birthday last year and now his second. He’s grown so much and every time I see him our bond is getting stronger and stronger…

Pappou Costa and my aunties are here, my cousin’s little angels and her husband and relatives are here. I enjoy every moment, despite the mayhem and the noise, it actually somehow makes it better…

Monday noon…

I’m sitting at the Uni’s cafe with my mum. I’m on my laptop writing a post, the first part of this blog and she is knitting rosaries. It’s quiet, peaceful…It has just rained but the sun is out again. It never stays away for long on this island…

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Monday afternoon…

I take the little sister on an educational trip down old Nicosia. I’m surprised how little she knows about the island’s history but I’m glad I’m teaching her what I’ve known for years… Up the Siakolas tower for a panoramic view of the city, one of the few spots you can see over ‘the other side’ without having to show your passport to cross the green line, the only divided capital in the world, down the old town, the Archbishop’s place that was half burned during the coup in 1974, the house of the dragoman  Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios who, although working with the Turks, secretly helped his fellow Greek Cypriots in the 1800’s, when the country where under the Ottoman empire…

 

Tuesday morning…

My throat feels sore… typical. I’m getting a cold just as I’m about to leave. I try not to think about it.

I say goodbye to the family and this little man…

 

 

and my sister drops me off at the airport. I think I prefer it to just get dropped off rather than saying goodbye to my sisters and my mum to the gate. Still emotional but makes it easier to leave.

Time to go back, but I feel I needed a few more days… to tackle my overthinking… Remember, one day at a time…

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Remember… nothing stays the same and nothing changes…

Remember… you got this…

Namaste

Eleni

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