Athens, Greece

Over some 7-star Metaxa, Giorgos and I discussed Aristotle’s thoughts on “automata,” or robots, along with futurism, Ouzo, smart cities and art. He has a degree in fine arts, is a 9-year sculptor in clay, plaster and marble, and is getting his masters in finance.

He once sculpted a model based on a 3D polygonal graph he first created in Z-Brush of the USA’s trillion dollar, 36-minute Wall Street “Flash Crash” caused by the 2010 Greek debt crisis.

Angeliki manages logistics and accounting for the hotel. We talked over coffee on the roof as we each worked in our "office--our phones and laptops. She also works the ticket stand at the metro. She works multiple jobs, proudly comparing her work ethic to that of Europeans or Americans who think Greeks are lazy. 

I caught Markos’ on his last day at a taverna in Athens. He leaves Wednesday, permanently, for Portland Oregon. Has family and a girlfriend there. He wants to own a small restaurant somewhere in the US.

The old guys are going to miss him. You could feel the camaraderie. He was a hustler.

“In Knoxville, Tennessee, back in the 1930s, there were around 70 Greek restaurants. You’ll do well.”

He surprised me with his response, as he still hustled to call to passersby, offering them a seat, on this, his last day when he really didn’t have to give a shit. I knew he did this out of respect for the old guys still working there.

“You know what Jim Carrey said?”

“Not sure, my man. Tell me.”

“So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach so we never dare to ask the universe for it. I’m the proof that you can ask the universe for it,” he said.

“Wow.”

“See you in the US, my friend.”