Home is where our cats are – Hello Greece, we’re here to stay!
It been so long since we came back home to our Greek village at the very last possible minute two weeks ago, but life is going so fast, we were just busy living it instead of sharing – so here is the full story I put down right after our arrival two weeks ago before the curfew hit in, and – as the whole world is sitting home, trying to make sense out of the incomprehensible, a little surprise: my 6 steps quarantine routine to stay inspired. Keep on reading…
The past 24 hours has been a race against time: as we were getting ready to finally return to Greece after 2.5 months of uncertainty, after touring with Kristóf Konyhája I Kristóf’s Kitchen through Romania, the UK, Turkey and Hungary while waiting for my husband’s European citizenship so we can come home, after the dramatic outbreak of coronavirus, we got the news: Hungary is about to lock down it’s borders, and Greece is taking new measures as well – all arrivals must go to home instantly, and #StayHome for a minimum of two weeks. We were warned by a local friend, Yanis, that at the airport we will be asked if we have a ride to where we are heading to, as those with no vehicle were requested to WALK home. Thankfully our friend from Methana was ready to ride us home, and as we have no fever, we are not coughing, or feeling weak, we were instantly allowed out from the terminal. The air never tasted sweater – if we were not let in, a new chapter of insanity would start, as Nimi cannot return to Hungary, and I am not allowed into Israel, by the new COVID-19 policies.
A 2.5 hours ride later we arrived to our village Agios Georgios, and as we got out of the car, a minute later our four cats, Fava, Arak, Tahini and Lángosh started to run towards us like we left half an hour ago. We imagined this moment so many times, but it could not be compared to anything we had in mind: instead of being hurt and upset, or simply forgetting us they literally jumped on us, and after the whole family was inside the house, we looked around: the Christmas tree was still up, and – thanks to our beloved neighbours who also took care of our kittens and our plants – it felt like we just jumped down to the beach, fell asleep there, and had the fuzziest dream ever. We quickly cleaned up, took down the tree and the festive decoration, and packed out the suitcase we brought with us – normally we travel with a single backpack, but due to the regulations in Greece we had to do a basic shopping on Budapest, buying nuts, beans, root veggies, rice, some jars and cans, and of course some vino. By 4AM the house was sparkling clean, and we took a well deserved, long sleep, waking up for a brand new day we waited for ever since we stepped out the door of our home.
I opened up the balcony door and the sun was shimmering on the surface of the sea, and under the olive and lemon trees the fields were lush green – I couldn’t help but tear up, and I quickly grabbed my phone to record an Insta live video for you guys, still available at my Insta @kristofsteiner, hope you enjoy it almost as much as we enjoyed waking up in this paradise. Our first day in quarantine was everything I waited for in the past months: I have been gardening, digging up the whole garden so tomorrow we can plant the seeds of the veggies we will be growing, Nimi cooked an absolutely fabulous hummus, the cats have been lazing, enjoying the sunshine, we have been listening to our favourite radio channel, singing along with the songs. The only painful aspect was having to have a bittersweet reunion with our lovely neighbours, Wendy and Ian, who we could “hug” only from a distance, but even seeing Wendy on the porch of their house gave me that familiar belonging I was missing throughout every single day of our travelling. In the next few days we will work out a system how can we take care of each other as a community: our other friends and neighbours, Patricia and Francois are arriving home today, and we will all make sure each of us has everything we need.
And what we need the most of is being responsible, safe, and loved. Please make sure you do all you can not to put anyone in danger, look out for your friends, and fellow human beings, and in the very same time stop judging and labelling as careless individuals those who at the moment cannot afford staying locked up. Remember that there are many of us who have no person who could care for them, some have no storage or fridge large enough to store groceries, some need to go to pick up medicine or cleaning materials, and there are those who suffer from claustrophobia, there are many who simply cannot go home, or don’t even have a home – let’s not turn this already unfortunate situation to yet another issue where certain groups turn against others by guessing why they dare to step outside. Chances are high there will be a total curfew soon, and those who still need to take care of basic arrangements must get ready – be grateful for being lucky enough not having to worry for your loved ones, and communicate in a peaceful and patient manner about the necessities, without making anyone feel like you are “better” than them.
My 6 step plan on staying inspired and uplifted throughout the quarantine times
By now all my friends & family adopted to the “new world order” – and after the first few days of struggling in self-quarantine most of them say they are actually grateful for having a chance to reconnect to what really matters in life. My path to peace with the lock down was paved by 6 simple steps – these tricks will do, if some of you are still feeling bored or depressed.
Appreciate the beauty of simplicity, and allow nature to heal up – accept that we cannot control what’s happening outside of our doorsteps, it’s now time to look inside. If you must go out for short times, try to connect with nature – it will ground you, and set you free.
Get enough sleep, dare to stay up late & wake up when your body tells you it had it’s rest, or go to bed early & wake up with the sun, point is to pay attention on gaining power & rest. When waking up, thinking of all the tragedies, purposefully think of at least 3 things you are grateful.
Eat well – the best medicine is prevention. Boosting your immune system with fresh, seasonal veggies, lots of raw bites, colourful platters will guarantee you’ll be in your best shape. You don’t need to be a pro chef to create mind blowing food – join culinary groups, or follow passionate YouTuber foodies.
Work betch – exercise your body & mind, be creative, don’t let your physical & spiritual self giving up just because you need to stay in. Do some gardening, learn to play music, practice languages, write, draw, and keep up with deadlines in your household & in your job. Do not neglect yourself.
Keep yourself well informed – read reliable sources of news, follow inspirational, authentic influencers you can trust, keep in touch with your loved ones, give hope & support those in need, and use the internet for your & humanity’s benefits, don’t let it use you & eat you up alive.
Keep clean & hygienic, wash your hands, and whatever needs washing – but do get dirty with your baby. If you always said “I wish we had time to get nasty more often”, your wish just came true. Great sex is a perfect way to be active, stay positive, and keep yourself excited. Right, Life by Nimi?
You’ll thank me later.
More stories from our Greek escape on our Insta @stinerkristof, on Steiner Kristóf page and KristOffStage FB group in Hungarian, and as from this week our CookOuting by Kristóf & Nimi – Vegan Foodie Tips ‘n’ Trips Around the World FB blog will feature restaurants, cafés and bars we had the pleasure to visit in the past, yet we never wrote about them, as a support for those who are in the business of hospitality, and were forced to shut down their eateries. For my hubby’s stories check out his FB page Life by Nimi, and his Insta @nimrodagan. We are sending positive vibes to all, and we hope to see you in person at our cooking holiday coming up in June, arranged by Culinarium in Tuscany, wishing our friends in Italy strength, hopefulness, and unconditional love. xo Kristóf Joseph Steiner