16 novembre 2014, 14h 30.
16 November 2014, 2:30.
1964. Our parents and we, the children, arrived at Vrahati beach to visit yet another land plot, as we usually did on weekends during that period of time. The land plot was located at Samoutani, so our parents immediately turned it down. We entered the beach’s only coffee shop. Everybody in the coffee shop was grim and uneasy! They saw Theodorakis, the communist, entering and they became distressed! You see, they were all fierce partisans of the National Radical Union (ERE). Outside, the wind was blowing frantically. The fire was burning and it was warm. Finally, a villager stood up and greeted dad. He was the only leftist. His name was Mr Andrikopoulos, God rest his soul. He took us to the other side of the beach to show us his brother’s land plot, which we bought. That is how we became residents of Vrahati fifty years ago!
At this point, it is worth noting that later on, in 1981, nearly all residents of the region voted for the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) and for the next 30 years they were fervent partisans of the party; many actually ended up becoming ‘AVRIANISTES’ (i.e. adherents of PASOK's populist wing).
Today, there’s not much to say – dictum sapienti sat est – we have ended up supporting the far-right. I say ‘we’, since I too, am a resident of this beautiful, but deserted village. Deserted for my family, because at times we did suffer a lot here.
I remember that fifty years ago, due to the hostile atmosphere that reigned in the humble coffee shop, our dad told us to go out for a walk at the port. So, Giorgos and I did as we were told. We walked and ran on the port’s huge stones, while the waves rushed under our feet. The wind was blowing madly. It was cold, the winter was harsh.
Fifty years later, the port is still here, but it has been entirely transformed and is now reinforced by concrete. Back then, rocks were all there was.
Therefore, this port is to me the starting point of the life I have been living in this village: a life filled with both joy and sadness, and shared with my best friends.
Didn’t dad sing “This land is both theirs and ours” (touto to homa ine diko tous ke diko mas)? So, I present to you Vrahati, our ‘Vrahatakia’, as my children used to happily call this place every time we arrived here from Athens. Our generation is still here, proud and strong!
Could it be that I love this village more than anyone else? I wish you a pleasant afternoon!
Today, Sunday, is balmy and enticing! This is another serious reason why Northern people are jealous!
Here I am now, taking a walk through the port.
Back then, I was exactly five years old. I am old now.
I will stay here! VRAHATI!