The Home We Make for Ourselves
Part 1: A Hotel is a Home
Room 19 on the fifth floor of a building lying on top of a laundry room, fish & chips cafe and sports bar (Karaoke Night every Tuesday) was my home for much of my four months in Greece. How does 'home' happen? I'd guess it's through a combined effort of making a nice space and then venturing out often enough to appreciate the warm familiarity of coming back to it.
Home was in borrowing my roommate Cameron’s clothes because she brought seven kimonos and no pants and I didn’t own anything that wasn’t black, grey or blue. It was in grocery shopping knowing two words of Greek, buying cacti and orchids and giving them names (DokeyPokey and Sherman respectively) and making tea for sick friends. Our room smelled like grapefruit and peppermint concoctions made in a diffuser from Cam’s many many rows of essential oils. Our fridge smelled like the leftovers of the dinners she and Isaac (pictured above) cooked. The door was always open, visitors always welcome. There was music on the balcony, whether from speakers or from the guitars and singing mouths of talented friends.
After watching all of the one and only season of Freaks and Geeks, I went through my Grateful Dead phase and danced around to “Box of Rain,” pretending to be a misunderstood genius ditching math camp to be a Dead Head. There was the time we ordered naan at 11 at night, the morning Joe brought everyone coffee, the evening we live streamed the TEDxTeen conference to see our friends and TGS graduates Beny and Jawed in their interview. Mid-exams with various company, I went through my arsenal of classic teen rom-com favorites - some call it entrapment, others call it consensual distraction. The afternoon Cameron, Joe, Chau and I came home from our last exam, we pulled our couch out into a bed, set up Mr. Incredibles on somebody's Netflix, tucked ourselves in with our sandwiches and gave our brains a rest.
There was so much that made that room home, but it’s best explained like this. Little crowded moments, calm nights, a great circle of friends. I remember my dad telling me when I said I was feeling impatient to start college that these days would probably be the “least stressful time of your life! Enjoy!”
In annoyingly obvious teenage fashion, I didn’t see the truth of those words until now as I look back with so much nostalgia and sadness for the passing of such happy, familiar, lively days. He could not have been more right.
No matter, this is the home and the family we made for ourselves. And this is how. ♦
Part 2: Know Thy Neighborhood
Below are two of the places we frequented: Terra Carpo (left), a corner coffee shop with nuts/dried fruits/chocolate assortments run by good friends, and Guarantee, the sandwich shop beloved to locals in Koukaki.
Part 3: Work Hard
Cramming for IB exams, we had the beautiful Impact Hub study space to study in. Some days, we wouldn't leave until dark, apart from lunch at the nearby homey restaurant Nonna or take-out from Mirch.
Part 4: GET AWAY
The best part about home is coming back to it after a long day under the sun at the beach or dancing at the tips of my toes at the Black Keys concert at Rockwave Fest. No - scratch that and too bad if I sound like the script of a bad romcom. The best part about home is the family you share it with.