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I am currently visiting Greece (after almost 22 years since my first one-day visit) and I am really overwhelmed with the kindness of the people my husband and I encounter here.

When we arrived on the charming island of Spétses, our host (a woman, who’s husband works at sea) insisted on helping me to carry my suitcase for the last few steps to our room. When we left for Athens this morning, she helped me again with my luggage. And when we paid our bill, she also gave us a small token of appreciation: jams she made herself.

I will always remember Vasiliki from Spétses and her kindness during these three days. I treasure all these pebbles of kindness on a foreign trip: people taking time to talk to you in a quaint little shop, answering our questions in their best Greek English possible; my husband buying me a delicate pendant (the Greek eye for good karma); shards of sunlight on the azure blue sea, enough for warming memories on cold winter nights, a glass of wine on a tiny beach in Greece.

And I will always remember the guy in the shop today, when we talked about all the corruption and messy politics in my home country as well in his: “But we have time here in Greece.”