We need to learn from the Greeks to how to live outdoors

It is around 2.45 pm and as I am slowly finishing my wine – made by the restaurant that I am currently sitting in – I cannot help to notice how slow everything is. Of course, it is siesta time. People take a step back here. Allow themselves a break to enjoy the moment. Cretan people know the secret to life.

We do need to find ways to slow down. Use the moments of our lives to shape us and our future. Otherwise, we will keep waiting for the next and the next to happen. Living for the moment can allow us to be ourselves through being in the present. Fully committing to where, how and who we are.

For us to develop a character.

I look up for a moment. All I can see is that people are being. Being outdoors. Of course, for those who have a climate that allows them to do.

Let’s have a look at the phrase ‘being outdoors’ more closely. Outdoors means being open to what is beyond your cage. Outdoors build down the assumptions of how you are supposed to be. Outdoors is an entity of possibilities. For encounters. For exploration. For being.

As I keep looking around – taking it all in – I can notice someone softly sitting in his chair on his lovely balcony. He is getting through his beer – are you asking why does anyone drink beer at this point? In this warmth that should not be a question. But again, that is a character. That is a difference of life style that is clearly presented.

There is a beauty to seeing him sitting outdoors. We all imagine ourselves there. It is the heart of Chania, all those beautiful narrow streets with small houses pilling up! We all want to be there. We want to be part of this. We want to develop our own space to be ourselves. To present our character.

Some clothes can be noticed on the other side of the streets. (Yes, there is underwear and socks as well.) Someone has left a book outside – what type of book can it be?

It is lovely to see all these characters. People do spend time outdoors because the streets allow them to be outdoors. It is 35 Celsius degrees. It is really warm. But everyone is still outside. The small narrow streets allow you to be there. All those little shops, restaurants and bars pilling up and waiters inviting you to get in – honestly, each restaurant has at least one person for only to get you in there!

It is the human scale. That is what allows you to be part of it. Everything is considered with being built by man without the use of machines. Everything allows to be shaped by individuals. That character has formed. And keeps forming. The citizens become the architects of their lives. And architecture keeps shaping to be able to help them to have the best experience possible. A beautifully composed harmony.

There is no copy and paste. It is developing with a human pace. That is how you can allow to be slow down. And take a breath.

One might question at this point that how can we capture this sentiment in a climate where the least you would like is to be outdoors. We need to rethink the spaces where we gather. The spaces we share. We all need our little bubbles. A space of our Own. But that does not mean eliminating the places where we all belong. We need to allow ourselves to share amenities. Not being trapped in the privatised systems disabling the entering of the majority. Spaces for all. For all human beings.

There are some stuffed tomatoes and feta cheese on my plate. I am sitting alongside a long wall with a company of my partner, wine and thoughts. We must certainly give away that we are tourists as we dragged our suitcases to this point through cobble stones – we might have made a noise. But when I grabbed my camera to take a photo, it made it very clear. Yes, I do want to be part of the scene. But I am part of the scene. And as I realise the camera is slowly placed back in my bag. I lean back on my seat. Grab my wine and smile on the people passing. I allow myself to be a character. To be the character I want to be. And let the city to shape me to be part of it.

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