One night, in early April, in the garden of the restaurant where I am working I noticed that two people where sitting who I had not seen before.
They were two young boys, very polite and nice.
Manuel and his brother.
First I noticed his eyes. Then I think I said something funny and he laughed and his smile was very beautiful and relaxing.
From being a customer, he became after some days, a permanent presence in Akrotiri.
He became part of our family and lived with us for a month or so.
Manual comes from Switzerland. He left his country two years ago.
He travelled to China. There he built a bike in bamboo, yes, bamboo. And he decided to go back to Europe, slowly, with his bike.
He’s been around the world for 24 months.
He has lots of stories to tell.
He is a really gentle and bright young man.
I loved seeing him arriving at the restaurant every night and sitting on a table typing on my laptop.
At the restaurant we started calling him quite soon ‘our παιδί’, which means ‘our baby’.
We spent a beautiful Easter day together with my ‘greek’ family and my real family.
We ate, we laughed, we danced.
I miss my παιδί and every now and then I send him the same message ‘Come Back!’ and I really mean it.
He’s one of those people (not a lot actually) who I have the feeling I haven’t spent enough time with. And I regret it.
And I hope I will have more time in the future.
Manual, come back to Santorini!
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