We even have tennis tournaments in Aegina….. Read on to find out how David McDonald continues his passion for the sport on the island against a backdrop of ancient temples and stunning seascape.
2001, I had just met my wife Rosalind and she brought me here to Aegina in July… it was hot! She had been coming to Aegina since she was a child. I’m from California Bay Area and I’ve lived in France all my adult life. After 16 years and probably 8 more visits, in 2017 we decided to try another island for 4 days, Kea. It was very dry and kind of desolate. I realized then how special Aegina is: the variety of landscapes, and the size just seem perfect for me.
A typical day for David
I’ll buy some big shrimp (prawns) this morning fresh from the fish market or from the new fish stand at the store. For the two of us.
One time a while ago I went and asked for 15 shrimp ( deka pende garida parakalo). I pointed at them, and the vendor said “ kilos?” So I looked at him sideways; I got the joke, it was something I would probably say.
So, well, the next time I went I learned the greek word for “a dozen”. I figured that this would be more precise. So, pointing at the shrimp I say “Tha ithela dodekada parakalo” Again “Kilo’s?”. Haha. So today I have the dictionary out to learn the word for pieces (“merides”) so there will be no confusion. But now (just in case) I’m thinking: I’m going to learn the word for tons ( tony – easy to remember)… just to have the last laugh.
Since I’m in town, after buying the shrimp I’d like to get some screws (precisely 5) to hang some pictures up on the walls. I stop at my favourite little family-owned hardware store. There seem to be 10-15 of these little shops scattered through town. They all appear to sell the same things – practically everything you can imagine a hardware store should stock is there, all packed in. In the States we have “Home Depot” , in France “ Bricorama” and “ Castorama” these are ‘Mega” or “Hyper” stores, where finding exactly the right screws I need, involves spending 10 mins in a labyrinth of wide corridors, chasing down a sales rep. and then being told to walk 200 metres back the other way to aisle 22/A3. There after looking high and low I find the screws, in packs of 250 for 10 euros. In Aegina at the father & son shop, I get my screws in one minute for 10 cents, with the plastic anchors included.
In so many ways, living in Aegina reminds me of a previous time, reminiscent of the 60’s and 70’s. I love it here for that. Charming memories of my youth in California. Simpler times. No roundabouts in Aegina, no traffic lights either.
Mid-afternoon now —shrimp eaten and pictures hung. Time for a quick swim. Then tennis with Tasos tonight at a rental court at the Klonos hotel. This is amazing: in the two years that I have a house in Aegina there are 2 more courts available to play on, Lalibay, and ATC tennis club in Mesagros that has a great view of the temple. When I play there and hit a risky drop shot to win the point, I’ll look up and thank the Goddess Afaia.
Back home and it’s late, the neighborhood cats are doing their ritual dance at the gate, my signal to pour some kibble in their red bowl at the corner of the road!
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