We landed at the Eleutherios Venizelos on the German Wings red eye flight from Cologne, knowing we had a whole day to kill in Peiraias until the strike is over at midnight (the man said they take strike protocol seriously so strictly speaking they cannot sail before that but sail time is set for 23:00 hrs). We bought the tickets and he offered us to leave our luggage for free in his store. No names, no receipts, no formalities. So against any abendländische vernunft we left them there, took our backpacks on our backs and off we went. The ticket store owner, an old captain affectionately explained to us that the guy who approached us as soon as we got off the bus is a stranded balkan the port people adopted many years ago… All signs that the pulse of the country is intact. We just left our stuff there and we will pick it up in the evening! We are since strolling around in this sunny port city near Athens where my family’s second branch is based. I was expecting to see the epicenter of the crisis as reported by mainstream international media. Instead I found the Greeks defying the crisis. Smiles, laughter, jokes and open hearts. They know things are tough and will get tougher but this is election week. The Greeks know nothing if not how important this week will be. The Greek pharmacist lady we flew with from Cologne explained to us she came to vote. And she is going to the Communist party event tomorrow. It is important she said. She is doing this for her daughter. Sitting for lunch we were approached by political candidates. Grass roots, newly formed parties, old parties in crisis. The country is in rebirth mode. This week will be important. This is not the epicenter of the crisis but the land of defiance. If you wonder what drives these people, my fellow greeks, I can tell you it is not the fear of default. It is the fear of death.