The Drama Chef

Prose – Travel – Recipes

Tag: home

Summer of expats

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The moment I enter the plane, I feel free. It’s like the heavy burden of all the winters of my life is lifted from my shoulders. The gray clouds that darken my head evaporate, the fog that covers my emotions disappears, my dormant blood starts pumping in my veins again. My skin becomes crisp and joyful, my eyes regain their sparkle, my voice gets louder, my hands move in big rounds again while I speak. Motion and life return to me, the civilised neutral mask I wear at work, while going to take the train or doing the grocery shopping, breaks into a million dark pieces and falls on the floor like dust. I’m me again, as I left me back home last summer, I am picking it up from there, as if another year hasn’t passed, as if it was just a gray, brief moment that is gone forever.

Summer people. Sand. Wind. Sea. Blue. The waves and the salt, the dry yellow crisp grass, the smell of pine trees in the sun, music floating in the air. Barefoot again. On the burning sand, on the grass, on the hot concrete, on the wet stones. Sun cream. Ice cubes in café-frapé. Beer bottles with slices of lemon stuck up their necks. Octopus. Burned shoulders shinning on white hard hotel sheets. Flip-flops that will barely survive this summer and will blister your toes. Small boats flying over blue, blue waves. Blue. Again and again and again. The first day I go swimming after a whole long year, I run and jump in the sea, I kiss the water, I drink a bit too. It burns my throat, my eyes tear, I am home, I am home.

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Paprika Oregano Feta Bread

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The things you miss away from home are unexpected.

It’s not only about family and friends and loved ones, it’s not only about the places you grew up at, your school yard, the familiar park around the corner with the dry flowerbeds and the high, dusty trees.

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It’s the way the light falls through the kitchen windows in the afternoons and how the roses swing in the breeze out in the balcony. It’s the smell of the neighbourhood cooking in the mornings, windows open and low voices chatting. It’s about cats that lie eternally on the car tops or chase each other playfully. It’s the sound of your parents talking over coffee in the mornings, having always an argument about something trivial, keeping their voices down not to wake you up. It’s how you run answer the doorbell and hang around the hall till your brother comes upstairs and you jump up to hug him. How your stereo still has the same radio frequencies memorised as 15 years ago. And yes, it’s about flavours too, flavours that chase you everywhere you go, but only really taste how they are supposed to when you are there, sitting among them and fighting over the last piece of whatever was baked today.

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