Nov 8th, 2007

My Big Fat Greek Bike Ride Through Africa

by Maria
Posted in Pre-Trip

We are often asked if growing up Greek Canadian is really like the movie. Yes, yes it is! We speak loudly, talk with our hands, eat a lot, are quite lovable ;) and many of us have a first cousin with the exact same name (first and last). The most common question we are getting from friends who have heard our stories, especially since coming back from Montreal, is “Sooooooooooo…how is your little bike ride going over with the folks back home? HaHa.”

Growing up, I can remember countless occasions of my parents telling me to be a good person (check), go to school (check), marry a nice boy from a good family (check) and have lots of babies (d’oh!). I’m pretty sure the words “and please, please, please cycle through Africa” were never uttered…not even once. We have always done things just a little bit differently, to their chagrin. We moved in together, moved away from Montreal, we even dared to…brace yourself now…serve salmon instead of the expected steak and shrimp at our wedding. Yes, that WAS a walk on the wild side. We were pretty sure this last thing was going to get us disowned. My gut reaction was “We live in different cities…they don’t google… let’s not tell them!” Hey, don’t you judge me. That way they don’t have to worry endlessly for four months and I don’t have to feel like a horrible daughter/daughter-in-law. Its win-win I tell ya’… I’m 38, why do you ask? :?

Anyway, reason did prevail and we had told them. Things went pretty much as we had expected. First there was stunned silence followed by comments like “You know you’re going to kill us” (knock on wood please), “None of your cousins are cycling through Africa” (ok, true as far as we know) and “There something no right in the head Maria” (my personal favourite). This was accompanied by several attempts to talk us out of it (you know… guilt, fear, prayer, bribery, the usual stuff).

To be fair, this is kind of a “big one”…and cycling 12000 km through Africa does sound a little crazy. We have great families though and as they have done many times in the past, they eventually got used to the idea and are being supportive. They are still trying however to make us promise to “have a dozen or so babies” when we get back. :-D Oh, and Spiros has to promise to fatten me up a bit (I’m an emaciated 145 lbs you see).

2 Responses to “My Big Fat Greek Bike Ride Through Africa”

  1. Ana Lucia Campos Day Says:

    Hiya! Your site could as well be called Cycling The Road Less Travelled – Two Hearts One Goal! =)
    This is really just to say that I enjoyed reading your post. All the best!

  2. Maria Says:

    Thank you for the comment and good wishes! :-)

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