Friday, April 30, 2010

Six degrees of separation, but not in Greece, more like two

I have built a house in Greece; it was not nearly as traumatic as I was told it would be. There are lots of stories to this house. More to come at a future date.

We bought a piece of land in the Argolida, with a great view, to build our retirement dream house; we were going to downsize. Big joke, it just grew like an amoeba, an amoeba with a great view.

When we bought the land, I asked about local architects and builders, rather than bringing one from Athens (3 hours away).
I was told that there was a guy that studied in the States, yeah sure!
I assumed it was local blah, blah.

I looked at some of his houses, they all had something unique, even though they were traditional Greek villas, tile roofs, stone, etc. We had a modern house in mind though. We went to see him and find out about his “U.S. education”. We chatted and we hit it off, and yes he went to Pratt, in N.Y., the same college my wife and I had gone to. A coincidence, but I have come to accept them and even expect them in life. We accused him of forgetting everything he learned at Pratt: a notorious Bauhaus school, modern stuff all the way.

At that moment his wife came to the office, she is a Greek American from Chicago. We lived there in the early 60’s, forty years ago at least.

Like all old geezers, I remember stuff that happened in prehistory, not ten minutes ago. I asked her what her Dad did in Chicago; she told me he had a grocery store in the Greek town of Chicago. I remembered her Dad’s store and even her Dad, his name, even her uncle. This is getting spooky; small provincial towns in Greece and the degrees of separation have come to be non-existent. I was sure one more question and we would find out we were related, second cousins or something. Thank heavens it stopped at the same school, and a Chicago grocery store. It was enough for us to pick him as our architect and builder, I told him “God made me pick you,” may as well keep him nervous.

We worked on the plans and soon were happy, a terrific modern villa.
I then decided that we wanted it in 9 months, “No problem”. When you hear “No es ningun problema” in South America, it means it is no problem because it is never is going to happen, therefore no problem. In Greece, thanks heavens, this did not happen, we did it in nine months, just like a child, no problem.


  1. And you both did a beatiful job. Pure kharma.
    Nice story.

  2. I'm sure the house is terrific, but nothing could beat that view! What an amazing spot to have your ouzo in the evening. And life seems to offer up an increasing number of strange coincidences. While I'm not a big believer in fate, sometimes one has to wonder...

  3. Tina, it has happened too many times to disregard it