Jun 272013

Sea viewI feel myself slipping into Greek mode. That mindless state of being in which you expect that things won’t work. Or make sense. Or be on time. When you’re in true Greek mode, you even lose all expectation that anything should work or make sense or be on time.

The hotel toilet doesn’t flush? Oh well, you’re leaving the next day anyway. A policeman pulls you over, tosses a man with a broken leg in your back seat and tells you to take him to the hospital. Sure, why not?

The rental car agent stepped out “for a moment” two hours ago even though you had an appointment to pick up a car? What’s the rush? A burned out street light takes months to replace? Oh well, there are other lights. Airline tickets are handwritten? No problem, you know where you’re going anyway.

When I lived in Greece, Greek mode was a constant state of being. My usual fairly Type-A, get-it-done personality was lulled into submission. Or maybe worn into submission. Funny, I didn’t even notice a difference in myself until visiting American friends started commenting on it.

Twenty years later, I’m planning a trip back to Greece. Naturally, I assumed that it would be easy to make arrangements online, like I usually do these days. Silly me.

The ferry line doesn’t take Visa for tickets (even though it’s the card with the largest market share in the world). I guess I can get that ticket later. The website for the hotel goes off into 404 land, and an email to the hotel brings no response. Oh well.

Normally, I’d be highly irritated at the lack of professionalism and that my trip arrangements weren’t falling into place. But instead I find myself shrugging and thinking, “Yes, that’s the Greece I know and love.”

Sometimes preparing for a trip isn’t just about packing and buying tickets. Sometimes it’s putting yourself in the right frame of mind.

I’m in Greek mode.

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