The fear of grammar
“I get scared writing to you…”
I have that effect on people; some get an involuntary muscle spasm in their eye, while others apologise in their opening email sentence: “I know there are probably spelling mistakes in the attached document.”
And then, there are those who are incorrigible: “I know, I know! Blatant use of Capital Letters.”
Surviving the pub-irty years
“Eeeeew. Stop it! That's disgusting.”
Jen always objected to her parents’ public show of affection, even if it was only at the dinner table.
Nick, on the other hand, was an astute observer of the world around him. “Are you two tongue kissing?”
The immigration officer stares at my passport.
He looks at me wild-eyed as he realizes it’s a foreign one.
He stares back at my passport, looks at me once more and then runs away - with my passport.
It’s midnight. I’m on a train, somewhere between the Ukraine and Russian borders. It's June 1994.
Many happy years to me
“What - more sweets?” I groan at the sight of the three white boxes in the middle of the desk.
“Who’s name day is it today?”
“Ours,” respond the three Marias at our Athens-based office. Custom dictates they bring a box each.
I just can’t keep up and neither can my waistline. Really, some months feature an endless procession of name day celebrations and obligatory eating of syrup sweets.
“How about an evening frolic down on the beach?”
“Err, no thanks,” I replied.
“If you’re worried about leaving your friend on her own,” he said with all sincerity, “she's welcome to join us.”
While initial amorous advances are flattering, continuous entreaties for a late-night rendezvous are irritating, especially when the enamored young man follows you home. It’s considered stalking in some cultures.
New Zealand 2008
New Zealand 2006
United Kingdom 2004
Athens Olympics 2004
Beijing to Athens 1994
© 2023 HARI KOTROTSIOS
I acknowledge the traditional Custodians of the land on which I work and live, the Gubbi Gubbi / Kabi Kabi and Joondoburri people, and recognise their continuing connection to land, the waters and sky. I pay my respect to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.