In a week we’ve met six Greeks who have repatriated. In our first hour in Greece, on the metro from the airport, a drunk who was ranting about the EU had repatriated from California. Two hotel managers, a restaurant owner, a farmer and even a bus ticket taker all took time to tell us their story. Most were bittersweet stories about problems in Greek society and usually some family intrigue that brought them back. The most interesting may be Billy, real name Visili. He is magical because he is the only one in Greece that could tell us connecting bus information. We’ve been to 8 intercity bus stations and none of them could tell us about buses we needed to connect to in another town. Billy made one phone call and got it. He lived 30 years in New York City and  built a multi-million dollar real estate business in the Chelsea area of Manhattan. His Achilles heal (as it were) spawned from his two marriages and divorces in the US, which must have included large settlements because now he complains of just scraping by, running a small hotel in the sleepy port town of Poros on Cephalonia. ionia-010His first marriage was to an American, his second to a Greek American. Now he’s married to a Greek. Let’s hope he’s found the right pedigree this time.
You’ve heard of slow food, slow living, how about slow travel. In two days of travel we managed only 80 miles overland and 40 miles at sea, mainly due to bus schedules and bad weather. We spent hours holed up in a port cafe waiting to find out if our ferry was going to brave the weather. Not wasted time. We stuck in with some locals ionia2-007 and got to know the cafe cat, Bella. ionia2-008  It took twelve buses and four ferries to make it around the Peloponese  peninsula and on to Cephalonia and  Corfu. We’re anxious to see it Italian bus schedules are more available and helpful.