The kindness diet

By Daaf

Greek yogurt, and honey, and some olive oil, I think those might just be the main ingredients to the kindness diet. Or maybe it’s something in the air, the Ouzo, or maybe the Greeks are just decent people. Whatever the cause, they are incredibly friendly, helpful, hospitable and kind.

We are almost at the end of our stay in Greece; 3 nights and almost 4 days sum up the time we spend here and it has been thoroughly enjoyable. As soon as we sat down for our first lunch in Greece we were struck by the genuine kindness of the people here.

Our first evening in Greece ended in a small town, I don’t think I knew the name when we got there and I certainly can’t remember it now, several days later. What I do remember is Pepijn pointing out the workshop across the street from our hotel, perhaps they could help me fix my side stand.

As I pull up four men are working on an ancient tractor, tools out on the sidewalk. At first they give me and the bike some uncertain looks, BMW motorcycles are clearly not something they usually work on and I guess there not sure why I’m there at all. With the help of some basic German some English and quite a bit of universal sign language, I explain my predicament, the owner of the shop pulls and pushes the bike, lies down on the ground to look at the side stand and finally comes with his assessment: ‘Es ist zu schwer’,  ‘It’s too heavy’. Yup, that was what I thought too. The solution seems simple, extend the side stand so the bike stays more upright. Collectively we grind, weld and drill together a perfect side stand raiser, in no time. The total cost of this custom rush job? 5 euro!

Over the next two days we continued our slowed down pace through mainland Greece.

Kavala in spring is a great destination and the scene for another quick solution. After explain my world-trip-advanturer status, the local hearing aid store manages to fit me with a new custom made earplug within two hours and with a big smile only accepts a small token amount for it. There seems to be no end to the kind help we get here.

On our final day though Greece we head farther away from the main roads through even smaller villages where we are already a bit of an attraction, people wave at us as we go by. After all of this the hotel in Alexandroupoli is a bit dull, but it’s reasonably clean and willing to give us quite a decent discount when I play the ‘we are world travelers, we have a tight budget’ card.

From hear on to Turkey… I hope we’ll get along with the Turks in these troubled times.