Before our three months whirl wind trip around India, we were in Greece. I’ve never been interested in touring Europe. Perhaps it was because in school, Asia hardly appeared in the curriculum, and while I was studying art in high school, it was as if only Europeans painted. Maybe my lack of interest in Europe was not overkill, but what I have since discovered—some hidden Asian DNA that had me eager to explore that part of the world (and still does). But when travelling with someone else, there’s always compromise which led us to touch down in Greece.
Like every tourist to Athens, we climbed to the Acropolis. I thought the ancient site would have boundaries to preserve the structure, but was surprised that I could walk anywhere. Having studied and seen numerous photos of the Parthenon there were no other surprises and soon we returned to the Plaka. Greek singers crooned to the accompaniment of the bouzouki while we ate souvlaki. Sadly, today the instrument seems to have gone out of vogue in modern Greek music.
We only visited one other place—Kos. On a ferry we travelled east over the Mediterranean to the Agean Sea—almost to the coastline of Turkey. We stayed in a family’s house across from a narrow beach and wandered the back streets to discover the remnants of a past civilization even on this tiny island. This is where I fell in love with Greek salad with its sprinkle of cumin seeds and fresh coriander. But what a contrast when we left this relaxing island and arrived in Bombay (now Mumbai).