Meet Kai, an NYU student on break, traveling by themselves in Greece. Majors in Computer Science, minors in theatre. Staying with her ‘aunts’ in Athens.
Kai met these two French sisters, also on college break, on a hike up to the top of the volcano, and for the rest of the journey, including the boat ride back, they bonded quickly, conversing in the bits of French/English that they knew.
Megan and I, probably the oldest in the group, me with my bum knee, were the last to make it up to the top of the volcano. Kai had pulled ahead from the start. We got a text from her at the top, “Please pretend you don’t know me. I’ll explain later.”
Later, she explained that she had met some college students on the way up the mountain, and on a whim, described who she was, “four years into the future.” She kept up the charade the whole trip, and Megan and I gave her the space to explore her freedom, play-act as the person she hopes to be in the future. The only thing I said to her was, “Just know that sometimes these innocent fibs come back to bite you.” (case in point: “my middle name is Rainbow”, “Oh, I’m from the Poconos too!” Ask me, some day…) Otherwise, it was kind of adorable watching the three of them hanging out at the front of the boat, laughing and using lots of hand gestures to communicate.
As I write this post, I am reminded of Kai, in Bali, still in her Disney Princess identity phase. http://carlaimperial.com/blog/you-can-take-the-girl-out-of-disney-but/ and I’m chuckling. It just makes so much sense why she’s become so into theatre! I could analyze this more, but we’ll leave it at that.
Meanwhile, I made it up and down the volcano, a huge feat for me. It was breathtaking at the top, and I was so glad I didn’t sit it out on the boat. We could even see steam coming out of holes at the top! We were told that they had very accurate measuring systems in place to predict if the volcano were to erupt, at least two weeks beforehand. And then what? They evacuate, spare their lives, but what happens to the island of Santorini?? Blows my mind (no pun intended) that people have built their lives on top of an active volcano.