Last weekend I boarded a plane in Kathmandu and flew out of Nepal and left Asia after five months of wandering across its Southwest. I think that there's some people who don't really care for flying, (or at least need to be watching a movie in the back of a headrest to enjoy it), but I really love just staring out the window to watch the Earth pass by below. I like thinking about how for virtually all of human history flight was understood to be a perfect impossibility, and I just so happened to be born into the first airborne century.
Three planes bounced me around the world, with stops in the middle east and central Europe before coasting slowly over the Alps to land in the Greek coast city Thessaloniki. I have distant relatives living here whom I had never met before, and they've taken me in to stay in their basement, which was also my great-great-grandparents' apartment.
Lots of stuff has been really great about coming to Greece. It's nice to connect with a part of my heritage, and to be in a land of such well-documented ancient history. I've seen dozens of statues dating back past 8th century BC that are shockingly impressive in their accuracy of depicting the human form and its details. Also, and much more importantly, there's feta cheese and olives.
As it turns out, there's some other musicians in the family, which has meant lots of good conversation about styles and favourite performers, and art in general. Check out this wild recording that my unclecousin Thanos played bass clarinet on - that's him tearing up around 2:15.
Next week, I'm going to visit the village where my grandparents grew up. I've been given a few surnames of families I might find there who may know about my family history, and can hopefully help me seek out the childhood homes of my baba and dedo.