5.30am one balmy August morning.
Stacey and I stand bleary-eyed outside the security gates of the Faliro Sports Pavilion in downtown Athens.
We’re waiting on a delivery of Olympic merchandise for our retail outlets at the handball and taekwondo venue - our "home" for the next three weeks.
My aunt raised her hands in despair, the colour draining from her rosy cheeks.
“What will I tell your mother?” she wailed, clawing at her hair.
“Mum already knows.”
“But what…” gasped my aunt, “will you eat?”
May 1994. I’m in Beijing, China, riding around on a rickety rental bicycle.
As I navigate around the hordes of fellow cyclists, I realise that I’m near the embassy compounds and on the spur of the moment decide to look for the Ukraine embassy.
A little voice in my head was telling me to sort out my Ukraine transit visa before I arrived in Moscow, as I planned to stay there only three days.
In that brief decisive moment, I have two choices:
“That fish,” Bea grabbed my arm, “it’s still… breathing!”
I spluttered as my gaze rested on the platter where the freshly gutted fish was taking its last gasps of air.
It was skewered to our sashimi plate, head attached to the bones and tail. A decorative array of thinly sliced fish pieces surrounded it on the wooden boat platter.
New Zealand 2008
New Zealand 2006
United Kingdom 2004
Athens Olympics 2004
Beijing to Athens 1994
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.
© 2023 HARI KOTROTSIOS