We’ve been on a real good soup kick. I made a butternut squash soup the other night using this Thomas Keller recipe, which seemed pretty complicated so I just removed all the complicated bits–the bits that made it a Thomas Keller soup, essentially. Still, it was pretty good.
But one night, when he told me he was making a chilled soup, I had to hold my tongue because I don’t believe in them. Soups are hot. Chilled soups are basically just smoothies in bowls. I had to trust him. And I’m so glad I did.
Foodie: This is really good! Where did you get the recipe?
Beast: I just Googled “Awesome chilled soups” and this one came up. It’s vegan so it fits into my clean living lifestyle.
Beast: As a woman, you couldn’t possibly understand this, but when society is constantly telling you “look like Zac Efron,” it’s not easy.
Foodie: Are you ok?
Beast: Here are a few things you may or may not know about me: 1) I’m unpublished. 2) I’m unemployed. 3) I’m balding and have long hair in the back. So obviously there’s some shit going on.
We watched the first few episodes of Ozark, the Netflix series starring Jason Bateman, that night. This did not go over very well because the Beast kept talking during the show. They were mostly snide comments, which made it very difficult to enjoy. Finally, I turned it off and went upstairs to read in bed. The Beast followed me.
Beast: What are you doing?
Foodie: It’s not fun to watch something that I’m enjoying while you’re making fun of it.
Beast: You’re right. I’m so sorry. Can we please go back downstairs and continue watching it? I promise to honour and respect both you and the show.
Foodie: No way. Never again.
Beast: I wish I could enjoy shows like this, I really do! I’m not proud that I will go downstairs right now, alone, and watch something by the acclaimed Japanese director Yasujirō Ozu.
Foodie: OMG I have an idea.
Beast: Go on!
Foodie: What if you go watch your Ozu guy and I watch This Is Us on my phone with headphones on?
Beast: I don’t want to do that. Can’t we please watch Ozark? Together?
Foodie: I want to try out This Is Us. But there’s no way that I’m ever going to watch it with you–because I just know it’s the type of show you will just try to make jokes about and I want to give it a fair shot.
Beast: Well, if it means we can still be together, I accept.
The arrangement was wonderful. I finished This Is Us in a week. I have no idea what the Beast was watching because I was laughing and crying and just having such a grand time. To be clear, the show is very clearly–and sometimes painfully obviously–a network primetime drama. No one has ever confused it for, say, being on HBO. But dear goddess, did it–and by it, I mostly mean Sterling K. Brown–deliver precisely what I needed last week.
We won’t be watching separate TV shows though for the next two weeks because there will be no TV-watching at all. We will be in Greece come Sunday morning. After landing, we’ll pick up our rental car and head straight to site of the battle of Marathon. Then we’ll head to the so-called “Athenian Riviera” for a few days before we fly to Crete, the island that stole our hearts last year. For 10 days, we will eat, swim, explore Minoan ruins and old churches, and go for hikes in gorges that open up into blue waters with grottos and marble caves. Then we’ll fly back to Athens and spend our last two nights at the Hotel Grande Bretagne, where we stayed last year.
You may remember how I lead us then on a hunt to find the Pnyx. This is the spot where many believe democracy was first birthed in 507 B.C.; where people like Demosthenes and Pericles actually spoke! Only we couldn’t find it. Turns out we were actually just metres away. But we missed it.
I’ve texted the Beast so many times this week about the trip; sending him photos of our terrace at our Thalori Mountain Retreat lodging and at our Airbnb traditional stone villa with the message “WE WILL BE HERE IN FOUR DAYS OMG!” and messages about how we will find the goddamn Pnyx this time around.
Meanwhile, after discovering a meme-creating website, the Beast has been sending me these:
As I’m sure you’ve gathered, we’re quite excited. My work out-of-office email is turned on and that inbox is toggled off in my iPhone. I just have to call my mom, which I do every time before I fly. I also have to pack, but I’m not taking much–not even a stitch of makeup, but maybe some moisturizer? And our fashion vibe, which according to the Beast is “English expat explorer,” is simple enough (white and khaki colour palette, with a hint of Mediterranean blue for good measure?) But I seriously regret not being able to find a pair of Palladium boots in my size in time for the trip because the Beast secured his–and because they would really complete our #EEE (English expat explorer) look. Think white linen shirt, khaki shorts, socks and those beautiful boots. Plus, not having matching footwear is really going to throw off my Instagram game.
I’m about to check in online, and I just threw in a load of laundry because we realized we need more clean underwear. The Beast is making a pasta while listening to Kesha’s Praying on repeat. (?!?!?!)
And tonight, if all goes well, I will dream of the sea, of feta and mountain goats, of gravel roads, and terraces with a view.