The Lasting Emotional Aftermath of the Earthquake
Because so many people left the island after the earthquake and a large portion of them went to the USA and Canada, Kefalonia is full of Greek-Americans. You see them everywhere in all ages, shapes and sizes. Besides Greek the most likely language you will hear is English. Maybe not on the beaches, but certainly at the archaeological sites
like Kastro where entire clans including kids, parents and even Yaya and Papoo try to get an historical feel for an island that had most of its history wiped out in the earthquake of 1953.
In Argostoli there was a family where the mother is Second generation Greek-American, her husband so completely American that Greece was not even on the radar until he realized that a visit to the patrida was part of the deal, and their flock of teenagers looking annoyed, as they wander from cafe to cafe looking for pancakes or anything that resembles an American breakfast.
On the ferry to Lixouri is an old Papoo. He and Yaya are bringing the two granddaughters to the village that they have not been back to since they left after the earthquake. The Papoo has tears in his eyes and seems to be in his own world, while the Yaya patiently answers the questions the little girls ask with concern. "Will there be stores in the village, Yaya?"
In the fish taverna in Alithos is a young couple, she is Greek-American and he is completely American and their relationship has turned upside down because suddenly she is in control. She knows the food, the land and the language and he knows nothing except that he is lost and totally dependent on someone he took for granted. Her Greekness was like an iceberg and he had only seen the small part that was visible back home. Suddenly she is back in Kefalonia and it
can't be contained and he realizes he did not know her at all and now he needs her and does not like it. He makes no effort to hide the irritation he feels at everything she says, and she does the same.