Another city

“It’s just another city.”

It’s not the phrase that most people would use to descibe Athens. Yet, as I sat on Filopappou Hill, overlooking the Ancient Acropolis, it was the phrase which erupted in my mind. The stimulus: a couple having a domestic. On Filopappou Hill, overlooking the Acropolis. I would hardly have noticed a bickering couple in the shops at home; yet here, at the center of ancient history and the birthplace of modern civilisation, the mundane event was jarring. It made me realise: ‘It’s just another city.’

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Image: the Odeon of Herodes Atticus (foreground) on the southern slope of the Acropolis, overlooking Filopappou Hill (right) and Athens.

Similar thoughts have ocurred to me before; rather often actually, at home, when my family discusses travelling up to Sydney for the weekend, or heading to the coast in the summer. Some people dream about visiting Australia, going to the beach and seeing the Sydney Opera House, while for me, it’s easy. Accessible. Even normal. So I presume to the couple in Athens, having a quiet argument beneath the Acropolis was similarly normal. To many of Athens’ inhabitants, walking past ancient historical relics is likely an everyday occurance.

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Image: Sarongs at a market in Athens.

When I say Athens is city like any other, I don’t intend to downgrade it’s magnificence. Meandering through market streets and Ancient Greek theatres was a surreal and enlivening experience. It was here that I thought how important it is to lead a vibrant life, experience as much as possible and appreciate every moment. Indeed, that is the real point of the matter: appeciate every moment, no matter how mundane it may seem, because for someone else, your ‘normal’ life may embrace a part of their extraordinary dream.

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