You go to Thessaloniki, Greece. Not to the parts of Greece rebuilt to escort tourists towards white statues of petty gods that no one believes in anymore, but Greece where the Grecians live and the water meets them.
Thessaloniki, where you decide to learn how to play chess.
Thessaloniki, where the men lift their pawns and coffee mugs and talk about you in a distant language, not because they want to sleep with you, but for pity. They don’t like your culture. They don’t like your youth or your gender. They don’t believe you are really alive. They don’t think you know what life is.
You assume much in Thessaloniki, but since you assume no one around you speaks English, you can’t very well check your assumptions, can you?