A light breeze blows through the streets of Oia and tugs at the loose linen dolls and the locals. The branches of the few trees, scattered in the sea of white huts and blue domes, sway in the wind, and their purple flowers gently dance up and down. The breeze is a welcome addition; The road, on which I slowly pushed down, was full of tourists, and there was no shadow that could protect us from the wrath of the Greek sun.
Although I was hot and sweaty, with all the others in the churning sea of people I was in, I could only wonder about the beauty in all the chaos around me. To my left was the bay around which the city is located. Much of Oia is built on the cliffs of this bay. Buildings dominate the landscape down to the turquoise-blue sea, more cliffs in the distance. To my right were shops and restaurants that met the needs of every tourist. Clothes, pottery, jewelry, coffee, biscuits and gyros were only a few meters apart.
Despite the beauty of the city and its landscape, which drew my attention in a hundred different ways, one thing I could not fail to notice in Oia was the frank expression of the strangeness of many visitors and those who live there. Rainbow utensils in all their forms – sunglasses, hats, shorts, tank tops – turned up everywhere I turned. In addition, gay couples who were holding hands with me passed or watched as I passed them and their table in one of the many restaurants along the main street. Never before have I been surrounded by so many members of the LGBTQ + community as during my stay in Santorini.
Growing up in the Bible Belt (Tennessee, for those who wonder), weirdness is something that is often hidden in public, in one form or another, be it unconscious or purposeful. Whenever I go out with my boyfriend, be it on a date or just shopping and eating, none of us has ever been able to do something as simple as holding each other's hands. Sure, our city has a pride and joy for the month of June something Companies display flags and other rainbow decorations, but for 11 months of the year we do not feel at home in the city we grew up in. It's encouraging to see that is not the case everywhere. It is inspiring to see queer couples acting as casually as heterosexual couples. In addition, my short stay on Santorini gave me hope for the rest of my study abroad. I will not stay in Santorini for my study abroad but spend the autumn in Santorini Athens, However, my time in these picturesque white houses and blue roofs allowed me to get an idea of how inviting and accepting Greek culture is.
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Categories: Athens, Diversity, Greece
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