Chios Craziness

6-21-2016–Chios Town, Chios, Greece

Sitting here in crazy Chios Town (pronounced “Hee-os). By “crazy” I mostly mean busy and chaotic. Even by the standard of Greek port towns, which tend to be pretty wild, this place is nuts. Cars and scooters flying down tiny streets and ridiculous speeds. Endless numbers of people on their way somewhere that seems to be pretty important, crisscrossing just about every piece of concrete. It wears me out just writing about it …

There are other more … difficult … aspects to this place as well. Chios is the first island I’ve been to where I’ve had to face the refugee crises. Just several blocks where I’m staying the tent “communities” begin. (I’m not sure what to say about their plight–it’s horrible and there is nothing I can do to help, which makes me feel guilty, ridiculously privileged.) Also, since this island is nestled right up against Turkey, there’s a strong Greek military presence here, which gives the place bit of a dark edge.

Still I kind of like it here. It’s definitely lively and very Greek: there are hardly any tourists (most of few foreigners who are here are people working for aid groups associated with the refugees). It’s definitely allowed me to see yet another side of Greece …

That said, I’m limited here. Like Lemnos the bus system in pretty limited, meaning I can’t get too far out of town. Also, there’s just not that much I want to see here–it’s just a stopping off point as I move south. Tomorrow evening I catch another ferry, to Samos, another, smaller island off the Turkish coast. I’ve come to Greece to learn, but also to relax–and this place is anything but relaxing …

Tomorrow I’m going to go deep into the areas where the refugees are. I’m not sure why–it just feels like something I should do …

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Chios Town Waterfront, From My Room

 

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Chios Town Waterfront