Happy Place: Harvesting Kiwis
Meeting Point: Gouriotissa, Greece
Harvesting Kiwis, while listening to music on earphones. This is the Happy Place of Nikos. The meeting with Nikos was purely by chance. If we had planned to meet or visit his village, it would not have been as magical. We happen to encounter him in an attempt to retrieve the phone lost on the seat of a white car, later revealed to be grey, while hitchhiking.
Gouriotissa, this is the name of a farmer greek village where we happen to be the first international visitors ever. Almost all the inhabitants approach us, with a mixture of curiosity, amazement and amusement. “We have a problem” says Flo. “We are here to find a white car, the owner has my phone in there”. Lots of smiles, gestures and especially Google translate are very helpful.
And here is Nikos. We immediately create a genuine and deep connection with him. He is the son of the owners of the bar where we sit down to rest. He invites us for dinner and beers, he lets us pitch our tent in the garden and in the end we stay up until 2 in the morning, talking about our life projects and dreams.
While drinking Ouzo and improvising some Greek, Nikos tells us all about his village, to which he is visibly very attached. Here, life is about farming and the production of kiwis, oranges, olives and goat’s milk. In the mountains and in farmers villages it is all different, Nikos says.
We truly believe his happy place must be in this bar, while making customers happy. He seems so genuine and at ease doing it. But once again we are wrong. The bar life is more for his brother Dennis. Nikos needs space, silence, nature and relaxation.
Nikos, a life of constant work. A life of dreams. The most magical life he could imagine is on a mountain, having a small hut where he can cut wood and light a massive fire to warm up.
The Story of a very simple, energetic and generous man. At times tired of constantly being around people in his bar.
The Happy Place, where he is in peace, is while picking kiwis and listening to his music. Here in nature, he can relax.
Of Nikos, we keep the hospitality and generosity. With his company we forget that the reason we are here is to find our lost phone. As Nikos says, “it is all about the People”. We also keep the great lesson that there is so much more to experience than the classical touristic paths… how many of you have ever heard about the magical village of Gouriotissa?