The Athens Diaries

Despite an ongoing, torrid love affair with Manchester and flirting with the idea of moving to either Berlin, Brussels or Barcelona (the alliteration is purely coincidental), Athens has always been and will continue to be my one and only true love.

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It is the city where all my flâneur tendencies began. I can walk the same streets day after day and never get bored.

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Even though sometimes I think that it is my self-imposed exile that keeps this whirlwind romance alive.

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Wandering in the streets of Athens’ city centre, especially in the summer, gives me the feeling that everything is going to be alright.

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I have been frequently asked whether Athens is a beautiful city. So let me divulge a well-kept secret…

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It’s not.

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Athens is the sexiest ugliest city (I’ve ever visited – I hate absolutes).

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It lacks proper urban planning and green spaces.

Its most beautiful or historic buildings are often left unattended.

It’s been severely hit by the politico-economic crisis.

(This list could go on and on…)

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But then the sun shines and somehow you forget about it.

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If I close my eyes all I can think is the Athenian sky. Akropolis. Living so close to the sea. Strong iced coffee. Narrow streets in the city centre, full of secret (and less secret) spots that locals love.

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Good looking strangers. Terrace bars. The electric atmosphere of Athenian nights. Being able to find food at any time of the day (sorry, I had to mention it). Street art. Makers markets. Open summer cinemas.

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Anafiotika, a small Aegean ‘village’ hidden at the roots of Akropolis. Small family-owned stores selling everything from herbs and spices to hand-made jewellery. People sitting in cafes, talking loudly with exaggerated hand gestures. Songs that praise this city. The quiet garden right next to the parliament, where you go and forget that you’re in the heart of the city.

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Geriatric couples holding hands. Teenage couples holding hands. Locals unanimously ignoring crosswalks. The Athenian sky once again.

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(This list could also go on and on.)

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It’s like falling in love with someone for their sense of humour instead of their good looks. Their wit, their intellect, their aura.

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It’s the ‘you’re not perfect but I love you’ kind of love. Because, deep down, you know that you’re not perfect either.

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Slightly non-sensical, I know. But so is Athens.

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In love (as always),

F.

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A Sunday Afternoon in Chorlton

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What should one do on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Manchester? When you’ve almost completed a PhD on the independent coffee shops and brunch spots of the Northern Quarter you know it’s time for a change of scenery.

My fabulous French Instagram wife C. had already suggested about a million times that she shows me around Chorlton, a neat suburban area of Manchester which she adores, so that’s where we went.

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10 Types of Guys You’ll Find On Tinder

I have a love-hate relationship with online lists. Every now and then a promising (and from a SEO perspective carefully crafted) title pops up in my blog- or newsfeed: 10 Ways to Boost Your Creativity Over Summer, 9 Books That Will Inspire You to Do Great Things, The 10 Best Independent Coffee Shops in Southern Wales, 7 Genius Hancks for Booking Cheap Last Minute Wedding Dates (wait, that was actually a movie. The article I read was about booking airplane tickets, I think.), 12 Awkward Things that Happen When You Have Sex with a New Partner (only 12?), 6 Things Scandal Tought Us About #LeaningIn in the Workplace and Feminism, 25+ Ways to Fool Eligible Bachelors into Thinking That You Can Actually Cook, and so on.

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Instagram: Wanna Be Real-Life Friends?

Are you on Instagram? No? You should be. Yes? Then you’re probably more likely to understand what I will talk about.

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Jane Austen: Modern Relationship Advice 101*

I’m currently reading Jane Austen’s Emma and yesterday I stumbled upon the following excerpt:

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The Carbonara Effect

“I heard about your carbonara trick, with the egg and everything”, he says with a conspiratorial smile that swiftly spreads across his face, “S. tried it last night and told me that it worked”.

Carbs? Trick? Works? I instantly decide that I need to know more, even though I can only stipulate what they are talking about and it’s not nutrition advice.

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3 Things I Learned From My Brother

One of my favorite Earthlings is my brother, who is mentioned – or photographed – very rarely in this blog. Picture my brother, Dimitris, as a taller, smarter, wiser and – ironically – 4,5 years younger version of me.

3 Things I Learned From My Brother

No, I’m taking this last sentence back. My brother and I are not versions of each other. On the contrary, we have very different characters, which gives me the opportunity to constantly learn and draw inspiration from him.

Every day I spend around him is a valuable lesson, but I tried to pick out only three of the things that I’ve learned from by brother:

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#instalove: Favorite Instagram Accounts

Instagram was love at first sight. To some extent, I even like it better that facebook, my all-time favorite social media network. Not a week passes by without me following a couple new accounts.

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Who’s Afraid of First Dates?

Hands down, who’s afraid of first dates?

Well, you have every reason not to be. I love first dates. Even though the thought of first dates might be intimidating, they can be a great deal of fun. If you have one (or many) lined up and cannot shake that sneaky queasy feeling, here are a couple nuggets of wisdom on how not to go bananas over your next first date.

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The One About Growing Up

About a month ago I turned 23. Twenty effin three. Still cannot believe it. Graduating from high school still feels like yesterday. How come the years passed so quickly? Where did they go?

Where is my life taking me?

Or, more importantly, where am I taking my life?

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