Dia Ciento Cuatro // Day One Hundred & Four

13.04.2016 Wednesday

It’s not necessarily the sweeping views of Mediterranean coastlines, the ruins of 15th century castles or the heights of impressive man-made structures that are most significant when travelling to foreign countries, be it when travelling with others or by yourself. What I find most significant is seeing how the locals go about their daily lives; not necessarily adapting to their way of life whilst I am there but attempting to understand, and relate, their activities back to something I would do at home in my own country (that is either England or Australia!). For example, this evening I decided to make the most of my €5 daily bus ticket and head back into Corfu Town from my hotel. It’s safe to say the town was alive with the hustle and bustle of people, predominantly young Greek adults around my own age, I suspect this is due to Corfu being home to the Ionian University. With the sun still streaming through Corfu’s Old Town laneways, the Greek youth had decided to get an iced coffee from any of the many packed coffee bars and cafes that line the streets of Corfu Town and walk to Spianada Square – a flat stretch of land necessary in ancient times to provide a divide between the fortress walls and the city itself; where they sat and relaxed talking animatedly (I’d like to tell you what they were talking about but I don’t speak Greek!). However, what I do know is that this evening activity is not unlike something I would do or regularly see in my hometown on a gloriously sunny evening. I think when travelling alone (maybe because I am more observant to my surroundings), I notice that although the location and language may be totally foreign to me, there are a lot of similarities that you may not often notice straight away. Just some of these similarities I noticed today included; older siblings waiting for their younger siblings outside the school in order to walk them home, people who have been working all day still doing personal errands or activities on their way home from work (going to the gym, post office or bank) and the older residents usually meeting at around 11am in the morning for coffee and a walk. I saw all of these things today and all three times I could relate these similarities to someone I knew within my own country. This may sound insignificant to you but this is one of the things I love about travelling; being able to experience another culture, not just see it’s sights. I think I did exactly that today when I went swimming with the local elder Corfiots off of the harbour wall. I watched what they did first and then decided to follow, they dived into the water on one side of the wall and swam around it, getting out of the water on the other side. Although we couldn’t really communicate due to a language barrier they signalled to me that I should get in and watch the fish swim in schools below the clear blue water. It was nice to be able to share in something that they do daily, I’d like to think that I would try to include someone or communicate with someone when they are the onlooker and I am the local.


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