Ian the Ex-Pat

We had driven off the “beaten path” while exploring the Greek island of Corfu a few years ago. As is often the case, we came to an intersection at a small village with one sign pointing south saying that our destination was that way. But there was another sign on the same pole pointing north to the same town.

We were pondering this paradox when a man ambled over to our car. A helpful Greek? Does he speak English? My questions were answered when he said, in a clean British accent, “Lost?” And I said, “Kind of.”

His name was Ian and he had worked for a major British corporation. But he referred to himself as a British ex-patriot and now called this little town his home. He said he was enjoying the pace of the simple life and invited us to sample it by joining him for coffee at the small cafe along main street. I had my first ever “Greek coffee” and remember little of the conversation Deb and I had with Ian. I do remember the grit of the coffee and the silence of this place that Ian had found.

When we left, Ian invited us to come back some day and stay at his apartment. But I don’t remember the name of the town. And, even if I remembered it, I doubt that Greek road signs would get us there.

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