I love my country, I love my city… As you know the limits between love and hate are so close that sometimes you feel that love and hate is… the same!
So when I feel proud of being a Greek, an Athenian, something happens that would change my mind and I desperately want to runaway… and vice versa! These last two years, I felt the need for… speed! Away from corruption, away for all these things that ruin my life…
I look at the people in the streets of Athens, I look them in the eyes and I see misery, I see frustration and then I look at the sea… the emptiness… I realize the vanity of all these things and I just smile and move on…
Kindness is not for sale and living in Greece this period of time, everyone should think that way, because mainly we are human beings. Then because we are ‘Ελληνες’; a race that had as virtues the hospitality, the kindness, the love for the people and some more that no words in English or other languages can explain them… like ‘φιλότιμο’!
Let me tell you a story about that…
The previous Saturday morning I had a small… journey in the center of Athens (Monastiraki) in order to buy the proper material for my wedding suit. On the way back to Evagelismos station I saw a couple of tourists walking out of the station, trying to find where exactly they are. I felt that I would be the one that would hear the magic phrase; ‘Excuse me, can you help us?’
Help! A word that has so many meanings and a huge importance for the one who ask for it!
They have booked a room in St. George Lycabettus, one of the most beautiful, in my opinion, hotels situated in Athens. The view from that hotel is stunning, since it is on Lycabettus hill and for those who live or have visited Athens, they know that Lycabettus hill is one of the… must-be sights of Athens!
The choices that they had in order to go to their hotel were:
- Take a cab
- …take a cab!!!
Well, there was also another choice… my choice! I ask them to wait outside the Rizari Park and wait for an orange car to pick them up! I felt that these people had to have the best first impression for Athens, Greece and Greeks. I drive them to their hotel, help them with their luggage and at the end gave them a hug… an honest hug! I felt like the guy on the following video…
Both of them felt the need to give me some… ‘gas’ money… but…
Mac & Regina Kindness is not for Sale!!!
I hope they enjoyed their stay in Athens, I hope that cab drivers were polite, the tavern waiters helpful and the… wine they get from a fan of them… a refreshing one!
I want to believe that my attitude was a free advertisement of Greece and I am quite sure that when these two wonderful people go back to their country they would suggest Greece as a good option for summer vacations…
Your kindness was the best present we have ever been given. We told the story of what you did for us to every Greek person we talked with. Shop owners listened to our story and their spirits were lifted. They said that is how it should be! Your story filled your fellow Athenians with hope.
And your actions started our visit to Athens with kindness. You have made two friends for life, Nicholas.
With much gratitude,
Regina and Mac
Thank you again for your incredible kindness to two tired and slightly disoriented tourists. June 18, 2011 will always be remembered by Regina and me as “Greek kindness day” thanks to you. And, yes, we most certainly enjoyed a delicious bottle of excellent Greek wine, thanks to your generosity, as we sat on the outdoor terrace of the restaurant at our beautiful hotel, overlooking the Acropolis. Our time in Athens was very special, and your kindness in delivering us to our hotel got it off to a wonderful start. We wish you well in all that you do, Nikos. We hope that your wedding plans are proceeding smoothly and that you and your partner share many fabulous years of happiness. Mac
I so enjoyed hearing Regina and Mac’s story of the ‘kind stranger’ when they returned home. And while reading Regina’s website just now I stumbled back to it…and then to your website…and your version of the story and my heart was warmed and tears are in my eyes all over again. Isn’t it amazing how one random act of kindness offered in a split second decision can impact so many lives for so long? Amazing! Thank you! I hope to visit your city someday soon and will certainly arrive with an open heart looking for kind Athenians who love their city.
Also, I love your website!
Regina’s friend, Ellen
Amazing story. I wish more of our fellow citizens were more giving without expecting something in return – maybe our country would be in a better situation.
An old friend…
P.S. Haven’t heard of you for a long time but wasn’t surprised by your actions since I remember what a positive person you have always been. Congrats on your wedding as well.