The truth of today’s newsletter is that I was writing about someone dear to me who died last month. But then I stopped because life got in the way.
First, the Beirut blast.
For a month now, my family and I have been living in Evia, Greece’s second-largest island, with a dear friend, her partner and their nine-month-old baby. My friend’s partner works in Beirut, and he commutes back and forth. Last week, when the blast took place, he had gone to the mall, thankfully, because he got out unscathed. Their apartment was shattered by the explosion – like thousands of others.
Then on Saturday night there was the scariest thunderstorm I’ve ever experienced. It had been announced as a summer storm known as Thalia, but nobody expected it to be so bad.
Overnight, the rain just wouldn’t stop. I was trying to count the number of seconds between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder, to figure out how close the storm was, but it was hard because there were so many flashes and thunders on repeat; I couldn’t keep track. Storms frighten me. My mother says they unsettled me even when I was in her belly. No matter how sheltered I am, I always feel unsafe. But eventually I fell asleep.
On Sunday morning all was eerily quiet. The internet was down, and there was no phone connectivity. When we drove to the next big town, Eretria, there were hardly any cars on the road.
Eventually I got online: an unexpectedly high amount of rain had caused some streams and rivers to flood, killing several people – some just 10 kilometres north of us, including an eight…