Three week ago and while I was in the middle of a measurement in the lab, Manny texted me saying something in the lines of:
-hey, I am flying to Europe do you want me to come over and visit you?
My instant thought was is he kidding me?
You see Manny is a born and raised in Melbourne friend that I don't have the chance to meet quite frequently as the rest of my friends, mainly due to geographical constraints. So there was never a matter of whether he should question me this on the first place! After all how many times will he visit Europe again?
After jumping up and down the lab we discussed his trip details and before I realised it the time came for him to arrive. I was over the top excited to see his face and listen to his ever gorgeous accent- there is something about the Australian accent that drives me crazy...
Aberdeen was rainy during the whole duration of his stay so I can safely say that Manny lived the real Scottish experience! Well equipped with a pink umbrella that he bought in order to distinguish ourselves from the crowd, we advanced into the streets of Aberdeen city centre, having the Spring Gardens as our first sightseeing stop.
Manny posed for me and I was more than happy to capture the moment.
Our next stop was The Coffee House Cafe at Little Belmont Street;one of my most favourite spots in the centre.
We both went for the walnut gluten free cake; a very wise choice by the looks and taste of it! We spent our time chatting over hot chocolate and tea about our lives, my desire to visit Melbourne, his desire to visit Greece more frequently, our careers and future plans.
With sugar floating in our systems we visited the Art Gallery.
As eager as I was to show him out and about Aberdeen I quickly began to feel fatigue, so Manny suggested we go back home to eat something and get some rest.
On our way back home, we had a quick stop at Starbucks to say hi to my sister from another Mister, Gwen, and introduce Manny to a couple of Greek friends. He was so happy to be among us-you see Manny might look like Greek but in reality he is just a lovely Australian bloke with Greek heritage. If it wasn't for his ability to speak Greek I wouldn't even think he is Greek unless he would have told me so. He was quite ecstatic to meet my Greek friends and my friends were in turn curious to meet him and see the behaviour and thinking of someone who looks like them but actually is not (if that makes sense to you in any way).
Having Helena as our own personal photographer we walked down the streets of Aberdeen for the last bits and parts of the city before ending up back home where I cooked him a traditional Greek dish of stew beef and shallots in red wine sauce.
He was so smitten with the rich taste of it he couldn't stop smiling all night long. It was this time that I realised that no matter where people come from, there are always some things that make them happy; good food, great company and red wine.