Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday's Day in Athens

I'm in a bit of a rush, so I'll respond quickly to the gay rights point. :) Obviously I support it highly, and whenever I see someone cite the Bible, I will flat out tell them I won't accept that argument until they start wearing 100% cotton and refusing to shave. The 'pick and choose' attitude just seems contrary, both on the outside and on the inside. If you genuinely believe that, say, Leviticus is a holy text, why would you arbitrarily abandon half of it?

Ah well, I guess it's time to tell my story.

During high school, I on-and-off dated a man named Takeshi Takahashi*. I had met him through a girl I knew online, in a convoluted series of who-lives-where. Takeshi and his sister Yuriko* were born in Japan, Takeshi remained there for his education (for 8 years without even a bachelor's degree to speak of!*; and yes, he was 23 when I was 16*, deal with it) while Yuriko (about my age) went to England for school. She met a lovely woman named Nicole and the two began dating just out of secondary school. For further convolutions sake, Nicole's sister was attending school in New York*, where I lived. It was quite the international group, particularly once I moved to Vancouver. Soon after, I got the wedding invitation.*

Takeshi and I were no longer 'dating'* (it was 90% long distance, so to call it dating was perhaps a stretch), but for the sake of appearances, we flew into Athens together from Quebec City. Athens is a gorgeous city, and the art history major in me almost did not want to go to the event. That said, once it came time for dinner, I realized I'd prefer the Japanese-Greek fusion to pure Greek. Goat cheese and I have never mixed.*

It was a very small affair, truth be told, to the point where I was surprised I was invited. The family of the "brides", a few friends and friends of friends, maybe 30 people in total had attended. This was the first time I got to meet a lot of his family, as well. Kiba (RIP*) and Mitsuko, his younger brother and older sister, were the ones I was most interested to meet; I had heard great things, and needless to say, they lived up to my expectations. I wish I was still in touch with Mitsuko, in particular. I think we could have been good friends. I was also... 'lucky' enough to meet his grandfather, who was a German soldier during the war*. I didn't say much beyond 'hello' to him. I met some of Nicole and Dessie's family, as well, though only briefly. Overall, they seemed nice, though some seemed put off by the expense at a 'fake' wedding (as it was strictly a ceremony; the legal aspect was taken care of in England).

The blend of the two cultures was the most interesting part of the wedding, for me. A Greek wedding and a Japanese wedding could not be more different, and the mix of garb and gourmet alone made it jarring. The ceremony was performed in Greek, a language I can't speak a lick of (though I do know that ophis is snake*, at least in Ancient Greek), but I caught a few words I could put together. God, love, the very basics. I am sure it was lovely, all the same.

The party was a standard affair, all things considered. A big cake and fine dining, a bit of music and a bit more liquor. Takeshi and I mostly sat together at our table and caught up on things, occasionally stopping to talk with a relative or friend. We spent another two days in Athens before returning to our respective countries (by now, Takeshi was living in Switzerland*). It was good to see a friend get married; the two of them are still happily together* and though I was not fond of the affair at the time, I look back at it fondly now as I prepare for my own wedding. And it was great to knock another country off of the list 'to visit'.

For those interested, the asterisked points are true.

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