Writing the Self 2: The flag that put me in handcuffs

The moment in time I identified myself most as a Saskatchewan person was when my family and I were almost arrested in Athens Greece for sharing our ride pride with the world. In 2012 my family and I took a three-week incredible vacation to Southern Europe. We were half way through our trip when we arrived in Athens Greece. The sky was filled with thick gray smog, which made the city feel run down and depressing. We made our way off the boat and onto our tour bus for the day. It was hot and muggy that day which made the air conditioning on the bus feel heavenly. The day was long and exhausting and I could feel my lack of sleep catching up with me but we had one finally stop that we were all extremely excited about, The Parthenon.

As the tour bus pulled up to The Acropolis our excitement began to rise. I could still remember the way it felt turning the corner to see the famous and historic Parthenon. All the tourists on the bus began to point and stare in admiration as they rushed to get out their cameras and snap that perfect picture. My family and I rushed off the bus to get in front of the crowds and begin the long strenuous climb to the top in order to get a better view of the ancient monument. The climb to the top was grueling due to the uneven coble stones, windy paths and high humidity but the astonishing view at the top was all worth it. The horizon of the ancient city was filled with small mountains and the trees were all a rich bright green colour. It seemed although we could see for miles. Finally, the time we were all waiting for was here. We turned around and climbed a little bit more until we were standing in front of The Parthenon.

The historic building was covered in cranes and scaffolding due to workers trying to restore it but we didn’t care. It was still as beautiful in person than in pictures. We hurried to get to the front of the building to take a picture with our roughrider flag, which we took with us to every monumental site we have ever been to. My mother set herself up holding the camera while my father, brother and I pulled out the flag to take a picture. We were all set up and my mother was about to snap the shop when it happened. Loud alarms started blaring and police began charging towards us with whistles. They snatched out flag out of our hands and grabbed the camera from my mother. The police were screaming at us loudly in Greek, which none of us understood. My heart felt like it was going to bust out of my chest and I could feel my eyes filling up with water from fear. They forced us to leave the site and would not return our belongings until we got to the bottom of the hill. Once we reached the bottom they found a translator who explained to us that they only allow the Greek flag on the Acropolis and we had broken a very serious rule.

We began to return back to the tour bus disappointed that we did not get to experience the Parthenon for long enough and get a picture with our rider flag. Before climbing back onto our bus we decided to climb into the bushes to get a picture of the Parthenon and our rider flag. We knew how much trouble we could have gotten in for because of this but we were determined to show our rider pride in every place we went. On our cruise we became known for the people who were almost arrested for being football fans. This whole experience made me feel truly like a Saskatchewan person because the roughriders are such a big part of having the identity of a Saskatchewan person. I felt incredibly proud to be from Saskatchewan in that moment of almost being arrested in Greece.

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One thought on “Writing the Self 2: The flag that put me in handcuffs

  1. hannahnorgaard says:

    This is a crazy story you have told and I can not imagine the fear you and your family would have had in that exact moment. I thought you did a good job on your blog post and picked an excellent story to tell about how you are from Saskatchewan. one thing that you could have done was to talk more about the people rushing towards you, taking your belongings and forcing you down the hill. You can discuss the thoughts and feeing’s you had in that moment. I really like the line you had used that said “My heart felt like it was going to bust out of my chest and I could feel my eyes filling up with water from fear.” this is great for your readers because it gives them a visual. overall I was very interested in your blog and I am glad you are all ok!

    Like

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