The Wine Box in Athens

IMG_1107 (1)Some friendships are like good old wine. You keep your precious bottle hidden in some cellar, away from light, gathering dust but never forgotten. You know its production year, what is made of, where it’s coming from yet you anticipate for the time that you will finally blow the dust off the bottle and open it to pleasantly surprise you with its taste.
Being away from home for all these years, it wasn’t easy to maintain contact with all of my friends. The only means I had to get a glimpse into their lives was social media. From time to time I would see pictures of their holidays, weddings, celebrations, new starts, I would read their profile updates, political views, jokes and my reaction would be a “like” on their posts or a comment at best. But a “like” or a “comment” is a poor substitute to verbal and eye to eye communication and recently I found myself determined and committed to meet at least one of my old friends in every visit to Athens.
I had been promising Alexander that I would visit his wine store The Wine Box since the day I found out about it. And I finally did it! It all started with a call from my side changing my voice and asking him for the biggest and most expensive champagne bottle but I couldn’t hold myself for too long and burst into laughters… Eventually, over a glass of fine wine we made up for all this time each was “lost” in the adventure called life.
The Wine Box is an exceptional cellar for wine enthusiasts where they can find everything from rare selections from around the world to wine glasses and bottle openers or assortments for gift baskets like fine chocolates or extra virgin olive oil.
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Suggestion for a basket with cookies and “Lithino”cretan olive oil
I mostly like red wine so here are Alexander’s suggestions:
La Bernardine – Chateauneuf du Pape – M. Chapoutier 
OIKONOMOY – Sitia – Domaine Economou – Ziros Crete 
So when you are in Athens drop by The Wine Box at Xenokratous 25, Kolonaki or order your gifts or favorite wine online at www.wine-box.gr. Also make sure to follow their Facebook page as quite often they organize wine tasting evenings where varieties from all around the world are introduced by wine experts.
Until I open my “next bottle”… Cheers!

 

Operation: Clean Closet

This morning I decided it was about time. Having been away from home for more than three months my closet was seriously messy. I felt embarrassed by just looking at it especially since quite often I am asked to organize other people’s closets. But usually this is what happens: you do other people’s closets and you finally end up not having the time to organize your own..

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This is just one fourth of my wardrobe, mainly everyday clothes. But still a lot of these clothes have not been worn and their tags are just hanging screaming: “Wear Me! Wear Me!” What a shame…
So I was sitting and watching all these labels and decided I should do something about it. I should start wearing these clothes, don’t you think? And even though I believe there exist more than enough OOTD columns out there, I thought I could be doing something useful to my readers: offer them some inspiration.
But first I will have to give this wardrobe a good shuffle.
Now, if you want to make over your closets visit Real Simple and get the inspiration you need to help you kickstart your project. Or you could simply call me in to help!
So there you go, soon I will be posting photos of my outfits. Pay attention!!!

Red Bull Art of Motion a Greek Win!

“Be better than yesterday, worse than tomorrow”
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Photo: Redbull.gr

 

With this motto there’s no doubt 19 year old Greek free runner Dimitris Kyrsanidis will give us more exciting moments in the future. His performance at Red Bull Art of Motion in Santorini was very impressive and flawless thus secured him the first place in the competition. His tricks wowed the crowd. This boy wasn’t free running – he was simply flying.
Watch here for the best moments of the event. At 00:38 and 01:01 Dimitris Kyrsanidis jumps his magic.Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 5.54.39 PM
Dimitris Kyrsanidis - Action
Photo: Redbull.gr
Do you know what I loved about Dimitris, besides his immaculate technique and adorable baby face? He seems to have instilled years of Greek values and traditions in a fresh and powerful twist. He’s the new, unconventionally traditional guy, every grandma would love to have as grandson. Before he even started he wasn’t afraid to make the sign of the cross showing respect and trust in his beliefs. He competed exercising the athletic ideal of his ancestors: sport is not just a physical act; It is a complete way of life and it involves mind, spirit, culture, religion, education. It transforms not only your body but your whole being. It’s something more than the art of motion: It’s the art of living. You could clearly see these ideas manifesting in every move of this young man, from congratulating and discussing with his co-athletes to jumping and landing with such a steady force and grace, it was out of this world.
Dimitris welcomed victory in pure modesty. Like an Olympic athlete and at such a young age, he honored his family without even saying a word. They should be really proud of him as his participation in this competition reflected his wonderful upbringing. Congrats DK. Congrats to your family too. We will be following you.
It’s worth watching the full length video below with the Art of Motion semifinals and finals but you may as well just “jump” to 42:30 and 1:35:03 respectively, to admire Dimitris’ performance.

The Greek secret (video)

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Every Greek knows what ΦΙΛΟΤΙΜΟ means. It’s hard to explain to non-Greeks simply because there isn’t an equivalent word in any other language in the world and because it describes not just a term, but a complex set of values tried and tested since the depths of time when the Greek civilization was evolving. PHILOTIMO is engraved on our souls and directs our lives. It is in our DNA.
It is one of the reasons I feel proud to be Greek. It’s about honoring your word, sacrificing yourself for the greater good, being honest with yourself and others, living by principals and so many more ideas the following video nicely presents in an effort to decode this concept.
As a Greek, by watching this video I realized that when I distance myself from someone (something which I rarely do) it is because either I come before the sad conclusion that this person doesn’t have any φιλότιμο at all, or because he purposely stepped on and betrayed my φιλότιμο for his own personal gain so my αξιοπρέπεια takes over.

video source: Secret Real Truth

The Apivita Experience

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I have expressed before my love for the Apivita products and have posted about this Greek company’s holistic approach to beauty which remains faithful to Hippocrates’ philosophy. I always come back to Bahrain from Greece with a suitcase full of their products and keep enough stock in my bathroom cupboard so I won’t be left without my favorite facial cream, my shower gel and soaps, my body moisturizer, essential oils but also honey, tea and kid’s amenities.
This time, during my stay in Greece I wanted to fully indulge myself by visiting the 5-storey Apivita Experience store situated in the heart of Athens.  Inspired by beehives and with an olive tree domineering on the ground floor, this beautifully decorated shop has everything you need: A juice bar where you can enjoy healthy juices and teas, a hair salon/barber-shop, a beehive spa (!), a natural pharmacy for custom-made cosmetics and a lecture room where you can learn all you need to know about beauty in various seminars organized by the company.
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Dimitra and me with my new hairstyle
After enjoying a refreshing juice I decided I should give my hair a little treat and I entrusted my tresses to the hands of Dimitra who used  natural hair dyes to enhance my color and gave me a simple, yet sophisticated hair cut. I was really impressed by the results and how soft my hair was after the treatment and I highly recommend you check this shop out when being in Athens.

100 days – 100 thoughts

It has been a while since my last post and some of you already know the reason for this absence. My health adventure is past now and although it hasn’t been exactly 100 days since my surgery, more than 100 thoughts already passed my mind, some of which I would randomly like to share with you.
1. I love life.
2. Life must love me too. After all, I was given another chance.
3. Life is short but can be full. And should be meaningful.
4. Thank God I still have more time to find the meaning of life. If I ever do find a meaning, besides “living”.
5. Yes, I believe in God, do you have a problem with that?
6. FYI There exist saints and angels here and now. I know I met them. Find your own, there shouldn’t be farther than your side, all you need to do is call them.
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Minutes before…
7. Smile, smile, smile. Even your enemies cannot resist a broad smile. It will fill them with questions and you with giggles.
8. By the way, fashion wise the hospital nailed it. Green open back mini robe, white tights and blue beanie. Eco-friendly, au naturel and such. Oh so chic!
9. I enjoy a full supportive, loving, caring network of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and friends. I got reminded of that a second time in my life. You don’t need to go through what I did to check your surroundings and spot your family.
10. I owe so much to my lovely husband and our two incredible kids, I don’t think I can ever repay. Unless washing their underwear for a few more years does the job.
11. Being sad for whatever you face makes you ugly. Being angry for your bad luck makes you a monster. Being silent when you want to shout makes you a ticking bomb. Expect it to blow up in your face sooner or later. 
12. Drinking a glass or two of wine every night doesn’t make you a drunk, a bottle does.
13. You know the saying: “Whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”? Totally BS. This whatever can actually make you more vulnerable.
14. No money whatsoever can buy you total health. But be sure you can get the maximum of the health your money can buy. So be wise and get a good life insurance.
15. In some countries and for some doctors no.14 has no good use in any case, in any way and however much money you have. They simply don’t give a shit if you live or die. How sad.
16. I love Europe and I am proud I am Greek. My country is the best of all I have visited so far (and they are many). Eat your guts!
17. It’s ok not to like some people. It doesn’t mean you want bad things to happen to them, you just disapprove their negative effect on you. And you keep them out of your life. That being said I hate arrogance and lying.
18. I love flowers. Peonies in particular. Very few know this favorite of mine. My heart simply melts in the sight and smell of peonies.
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I love peonies!
19. So now you have no excuses to bring me other flowers than peonies. And gosh they are hard to find.
20.Those 4-5 kilos I gained after exiting the hospital? Screw them, they will go on their own when they decide to. I can’t even bother for a diet now. Besides most of the fat went to where it should go. The downside to this is that I have to buy new bras, no big deal about it.
21. And can please someone tell me who are these people who decide about beauty standards? Cause even if it’s “wrong” I gained weight, I feel much sexier now! Who nulled thousands of years of Aphrodites and Renaissance women curves? (It’s a rhetorical question, I don’t expect any answer).
22. Thank you. And you. And you. And you. Thank you ALL!
23. — Censored —
24. — Censored —
25. I shouldn’t forget to revisit and update this post with all the “censored” thoughts. “Censored” is a temporary status. So is my stay on earth. 🙂
26. What happens next nobody knows, what happens now is up to you to define and correct if necessary.
27. What happens between friends, stays between friends.
28. Be open. In the mind, in your heart, in your soul. But just in case keep the key to your gates in your hands. You never know when you might want to lock someone out of your little heaven. And it’s alright.
29. I don’t want to settle, I don’t want to set. But since this is inevitable, I hope I rise again. Like the sun.
IMG_780030. I love you. And you. And you. And you. I love you ALL!
31. Everything is music to my ears. Every little sound. Your every little breath. And snore (more like heavy metal music).
32. By the way, listen:
33. They may have removed my tumor but not my humor. I wish people had more of this uplifting gift. Humor is the best way to deal with any obstacle in your way.
34. When you don’t give yourself the chance to ask for a break, yourself will make it so yourself can take it. Automatic process.
35. Don’t put too many things on your plate and then try to juggle with all of them. At the end you will have your “pasta” on the face. Relax. Take your time. Life is not a race.
36. TAKING A SMALL BREAK- SORRY I HAVE TO RUSH TO PICK UP MY KIDS.
37. The formula to a long lasting relationship? Scientists say they found it: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/relationships/10690668/Have-scientists-devised-the-formula-for-lasting-love.html – Yeah, right.
38. I have my own equation to lasting love: Sex should definitely exceed in times the fighting. Fighting should not include any physical or mental harm. What does that mean? Well I don’t know, ask a shrink, he probably doesn’t know either.
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photo credit: Brandon Christopher Warren via photopin cc
39. Who am I a kidding? I know nothing about relationships. I guess finding the perfect mate depends on luck. And maybe kismet.
40. I’m not the only one. And I’m not alone.
41. Hello? Are you still with me?
42. Too much thinking brings you too much trouble.
43. I know, I’m a little crazy. And funny. And lovable. And… (up to you to complete that sentence, but honestly I don’t care).
44. Besides, there is no great genius without a mixture of madness. (not mine, – Aristotle said it first).
45. It could have been worse.
46. Palestine, Syria, Ukraine, Iraq… War, Famine, Greediness, political and religious extremism, The end of freedom …What is f.. wrong with you people? Didn’t history teach you ANYTHING at all? When will we learn? We all need one another, we are all one.
47. Irrelevant:  FB(I) note: I wonder who are these friends of yours who don’t mind you calling them “bitches”. It’s not funny and it’s not cute. Don’t they get it yet that you’re telling them they are YOUR bitches? Low self-esteem bitches. It can’t get any lower than that.
48. Relevant:  Sorry but I am honest, “a friend to all is a friend to none”. (not mine, – Aristotle again).
 49. Cigarette cravings. I hate them. Can’t even enjoy my coffee anymore. Where’s science when you need it? Shouldn’t there be a perfectly “healthy” cigarette?
50. It’s not about destination. It’s about the journey. And you must learn to love this journey with all its “mumps and bumps”.
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Commissioned art work by Stella Stylianou. Find about her art by clicking on the photo. 

 

51. Refer to no.22
52. Refer to no.30
53-99 I might keep something for myself this time around…Anyways it is boring stuff you really don’t want and don’t need to know.
100. And please… don’t take any of these thoughts too seriously. Thoughts come and go and they may change over time. Life is a river of change.
The thing is that I’m back with a fresh mind and new “hardware” to start all over again from where I took the break. The software update didn’t quite succeed, with the basic functions of shopping, credit card spending and the likes still working fine as before, to the dismay of my significant other who had given the doctor specific upgrade instructions. Unfortunately no reset button installed either. “Stepford Wife project” totally failed. haha.
So what about you? How was your summer? Share a thought!

Happy Easter !

I have been busy trying to escape for the holidays, with no success so far. To cut the long story short, first  Oman, then UAE, then Cyprus, then Austria, then Thailand… one by one the destinations would be erased from our schedule as the traveling plans wouldn’t work out very well. Anyways I am going tomorrow (or so I hope) and my next post is going to be from there. (No, I won’t tell you the place until I reach it safely 🙂 In the meantime I wish you Happy Easter.

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If the Resurrection is resurrection from the dead, all hope and freedom are in spite of death.
Paul Ricoeur

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/robbyryke/5508726333/”>Robby Ryke</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

 

Greek Easter at the Diplomat Radisson Blu Bahrain

Want to experience the atmosphere of Greek Easter? Join the Greek community at the Diplomat Radisson Blue this Sunday 20th of April from 1pm onwards and enjoy the Greek hospitality and cuisine. For table reservations you may call the Diplomat Radisson Blu hotel at +973 39945208, latest by Holy Thursday (17.04.2014).

Diplomat Flyer

Philosophical questions in modern Greece

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Apathy, a word used by the Greek Stoic philosophers referred to a condition of tranquility and calmness, achieved by pushing aside any feelings of pleasure or pain.
In modern times the word describes the absence of interest in the surrounding world.
The recent economic crisis not only had an impact on global markets, but also infected human souls… The strict system opposed to European countries distinguished emotions and gave birth to a new type of individual: The one with no interest in political life or social problems.
At the same time, the same individual obeys to the principals of “Ethical hedonism”, in order to achieve personal growth and to attract the greatest amount of pleasure.
Unfortunately, nowadays, this is accomplished most of the times stepping on other people’s feelings .
Human relations, according to Sartre seem to be competitive. “Hell is other people”, because people interact with each other forcing themselves upon the others.
So, what really determines the “ethics” of an individual struggling to survive in a country where people sacrifice themselves for the sake of others?
Why does the experience of being a European Greek hurts so much?
Because philosophy was born in ancient Greece… along with the words “ altruism, hospitality, freedom and democracy”
Bessie Antonaki

Update: Homer Anatolian? Epic Fail!

Update on our previous post: Homer Anatolian??? Epic Fail !!!
Bahrain Economic Development Board has quietly updated its Press Release with regards to performance “Troy” by Turkish dance company “Fire of Anatolia.” The updated version which you can find here reads: “poet Homer”. The same in Arabic. Although the word “Anatolian” was erased for Homer’s ethnicity we haven’t seen the word “Greek” added instead.
Probably because in the official website of “Fire of Anatolia” Greece or Greeks are nowhere mentioned. You can read about the Persians, the Romans, the Byzantines even Alexander the Great.. But Greece? Probably for Turkey Greece never existed. Or Alexander the Great was Turkish. Or Skopjan (another bitter story for another post).

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As for the Facebook post from Spring of Culture, this is not edited. And it won’t. It contains the words of Director Mustafa Erdogan in quotes so I suppose the event organizers have no control over what he says. Or at least that’s what they think. And that’s the oxymoron: freedom of speech is allowed to someone bearing the same name with Turkey’s Prime Minister who by the way recently banned twitter and youtube.

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So much for Mr. Erdogan’s words from their website: “The main concept behind Fire of Anatolia is the meeting of civilizations”. The meeting you said? Or the splitting?

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We will keep you updated of any news on the story. I just trust that fellow journalists, when conducting an interview with the Director Erdogan or the dancers, will ask the right questions.