writings blog

Red is Waiting...

Stranded on a couch with a broken ankle, overlooking the sublime mountain vista in the village of Velvendos, Greece, about 450km north of Athens, leaves a lot of room for additional contemplation. You may also think that the proposition of this Christmas Eve’s write-up is concurrently overly discussed and, I hope, socially relevant.

Velvendos is a village with population of about 3,500 people, and a thriving main street filled with family businesses and throughout my travels within the past two years, in both Greece and the U.S., this has been a steady experience. By no means I am asserting that I am writing this from a state of unmitigated utopia; honestly, who would want to live in a perfect world?  It would be pretty boring and stale, not leaving room for personal endurance and artistic growth.

A photograph I made of Red, which is actually his name, in Pennsylvania and my opening statement undeniably deal with two different cultures, traditions and mentalities.  The Atlantic Ocean separates but also unites the places I have come to call home and establish new roots, regards if the east was the place of my birth. To be exact, 37km from where I am writing this post.

Many come up with resolutions this time of the year. Some want to start a healthier lifestyle, learn a new language, cross out sections from the bucket list and so on. I say, go to Plymouth, Penn., visit Red and have a sub. Lets try and change the mentality this holiday season and visit Main Street, or whatever is left and shop locally. It will be worth every penny, and even if the product will not last forever the interaction and temporal friendship will.

“Red”, Plymouth, Penn. November 2018.©Niko J. Kallianiotis

“Red”, Plymouth, Penn. November 2018.©Niko J. Kallianiotis

By no means I am suggesting the product you buy will last forever, and who cares, really. If your vacuum cleaner breaks, don’t run to the mall to grab a new one because there is a wonderful old man in Scranton who repairs them for about ten bucks, depending of course on the damage. I hope all of us will change the mentality to storm the megastores, camping in the parking lot with teen temperatures to buy “goods” we don’t need. Most importantly, you will help their children buy a baseball jersey or get karate lessons, possibly to even help the family save for their collage tuition so they will not suffocate in student loans.

At the end, it might not go according to plan but it’s certainly worth a try; you will not regret the experience; I did, because I did not get a sub from Red but it will be the fist thing I do when I get back. He will be there waiting for me, and you…

by Niko J Kallianiotis