Thursday, April 8, 2010

Zagora, Aegean Coast

Thursday, June 5, 1650

As Symeon comes to the outskirts of the small village, not but perhaps 80 persons who depend almost wholly upon fishing for their survival, he cannot help notice that there is one woman who is quite out of place. The town is quite typically Greek - it is evening, and there are no women on the street at all.  A few late fishermen, who have pulled their boats up, are moving up the steep paths to their homes - but this woman is going nowhere.  She seems to be doing nothing but closely watching Symeon ... as though there is something interesting that she sees.

More than that, she is not a Christian - her niqab, caftan and hijab (deeply colored purple) identify her strongly as a muslim.  Symeon's natural ability to identify characteristics about people strongly suggests that she is not Greek, perhaps not even human.

27 comments:

Symeon Kokolas said...

I will approach her with a smile. "Good evening, and blessings upon a fellow traveler. I am Symeon of Alos."

Nasira said...

From behind a silk veil, "Hm, such kindness... I'm Nasira. You are a sailor, are you not?" Her braceleted hand gently fiddles with a long string of prayer beads.

Symeon Kokolas said...

"Your eyes and mind are keen. The wind and waves are indeed kind to me. Please forgive my directness, but you seem out of place here."

Nasira said...

"What? Do you mean a silk-dressed woman, that doesn't smell like fish, sitting and gawking at strangers in a back-acre villiage, is somehow out of place? (giggles) I am newly arrived from Istanbul. I wish eventually to reach Athens, by ship perhaps... Although, right now I would be more satisfied with some employment."

Symeon Kokolas said...

"Welcome to Greece. What manner of employment are you seeking?"

Nasira said...

"Oh, I don't know," examining her fingernails. "Greece doesn't seem so special or diferent... What adventure do they have around here?"

Symeon Kokolas said...

"There are many places of nature; volcanoes, high mountains, hidden lakes, forests, fields, and endless islands to explore. There are also many churches, many temples, places where the works of my ancestors live on. Music, art, and public performance are waiting to be found. You will find new and strange foods in each place. Though this one small village may not seem so exotic, it is only a single patch in a grand tapestry of experience and so it is special in its own way.
Perhaps if I knew a little more about you, I could help you find your next destination..."

Nasira said...

Hessitates, clears her throat. "Well, that's just it. Unfortunately the ship I came in on couldn't get any farther, and has since turned back. I am not entirely sure where I am. It is...embarrassing. A few people have pointed up the hill, telling me about a place called Golos. I would probably go there for a start, especially if I had, if I had a guide."

Symeon Kokolas said...

"I am sure I can assist you, but it is too late in the day to start for Golos. Let us see if we can find a place to stay in the village for tonight, and we can leave in the morning. Pray tell, why was your ship unable to reach Golos or another port city?"

If she seems agreeable to staying here, I'll start looking for a place to stay. If there is no inn (sounds likely), I will try some of the larger houses.

Symeon Kokolas said...

I will also give her any geographic details that I am aware of and that she is interested in.

Symeon Kokolas said...

(Sorry about that, didn't realize you are a character at first. I'll refrain from referring to you indirectly from now on.)

Alexis said...

Yes, it is a rotten trick on my part. But I think it makes for good companions, to be introduced without, ah hem, an introduction.

Nasira said...

"I thank you. I had imagined, prior to meeting you, that I would leave in the morning, as it was getting late and I didn't really know where I was going. I considered pitching my tent, but you are right. Being indoors would be better. I don't know what kind of criminal activity exists here - but I've heard stories."

"The pilot of the ship gave me some ridiculous story about taking on water and for my safety, he had to drop me off. I was his last passenger. At least I got this far. He was only too happy to spend my money."

"It's good to know that Athens isn't too far off."

Nasira will also look for a place to keep her horse. She is very proud of Motaz although he is quite old. She uses him mainly to carry her heavier possessions, walking by his side.

April 9, 2010 8:13 PM

Nasira said...

OOC - Which ever style of pronoun you are happy with is good for me. Thanks.

Symeon Kokolas said...

Will we have any luck finding a place to stay for the night? If it comes down to asking for space in someone's house, I will offer to share my food with our (potential) hosts.

Symeon Kokolas said...

(in the meantime, we could continue conversation...)

I am very curious about your homeland... can you tell me what it is like there?

Nasira said...

(True)

"I hail from a small town very far from here, on the other side of Persia actually - a region known as Zabulistan. It is very different from here. No coastline for hundreds of miles. Culturally Islamic but the old ways are honored as well. Coming out this far I spent some time in Istanbul getting a flavor for life in the Empire. It's an amazing city although the people seem a bit distant. Some that I talked to had fairly low opinions of Greeks."
"How about yourself? It seems you've been here a while."

Alexis said...

There are no services, and it is highly unlikely that Symeon would find someone anxious to open up their house to him - as he has no family in this region, and his name would be foreign. Moreover, Nasira, as a Muslim, would be very much turned away ...

However, this is Greece, and it is June. The sea modulates the temperature at night, and it is quite easy to find a simple grove and bed down comfortably for the night.

Symeon Kokolas said...

"Let's find an out-of-the-way place to sleep then and make some food. I don't have any cookware, but everything I have can be eaten raw or cooked on a stick.

I am from a smallish town west of the bay here called Alos. My father was a sailor, as am I. I've seen the coasts in every direction for a fair distance.

I've never learned to read, so I stick to live performance and what entertainment I can find on the water.

The faiths vary, mostly Christian but the old temples are still here. In fact, there is a temple to Juno on the way to Golos that I had planned to visit.

I would bet that some of the anti-Greek sentiment you encountered is because many Greeks do not appreciate the Ottoman empire's rulership, and many are not shy about saying so. I hope we can someday have our own country, though there seems no way to make that happen without violence."

Alexis said...

I wanted to mention: Zabulistan is part of the Moghul Empire, that extends from Turkestan to Eastern India. As such, Nasira has no connection, politically, with the Ottoman Empire. I should have mentioned it earlier.

Nasira said...

"Yes, I am not sure I would like to live under someone else's rule either, although it doesn't seem too bad."

"I would enjoy seeing a show. Indeed, learning the history and beliefs of different peoples is one reason why I came out here. The best way to do that is to mingle. That temple would be very interesting."

"Yes...Well... It's terrible. I should have picked up some cooking equipment. I am too used to inn-food, I guess. Actually, I am not that hungry." Fidget.
"I wouldn't want to get too far from these homes, that would be asking for trouble, I think. I do have a tinder box and a few tricks with food."

Alexis said...

At the present, I will presume both of you will be finding a comfortable olive grove for night. I would fain produce another blog post, until I had some idea where you would be heading in the morning.

Symeon Kokolas said...

I would prefer to head for the temple to Juno on our way to Golos in the morning.

Nasira said...

"You say that temple is on the way to Golos? I wouldn't mind stopping, especially if it is not far off our path. Seems perfect."

Nasira said...

Nasira will set up a fire before setting up her tent, then see to her horse.
She will explain that she doesn't eat any meat that she does not cook and that she will not touch pork. She does admit that she has cantrips that will change the flavor of food as Symeon desires. She will also offer some chocolate after the meal.

Symeon Kokolas said...

Looks like we have bread, rabbit sausage for Nasira, bacon for Symeon, plenty of veggies, and an orange to split. Symeon would be interested in tasting something from your homeland, and he will definitely accept some chocolate.
After cleaning up, he will lay down for sleep.
"Sleep well, Nasira, and pleasant dreams."

Alexis said...

Next post.