Magazine

From the June 2018 magazine.

All Greek to me

How a smartphone came to the rescue for some alcoholics in Greece who really needed a meeting

It was my second weekend in Thessaloniki, Greece. I was there to work for six weeks and I always make AA meetings my first priority. On Saturday and Sunday, I went to the noon Greek-speaking meetings. The meetings are held in a place that was a bit difficult to find, but I had searched it out the day before. The meeting room was on the third floor of a building in a mixed-use business and warehouse area of the city.

Both meetings were very small, just four and six people, including me. No one spoke English and my Greek is not good enough to really understand what was being said. I sat for the 90 minutes, my mind mostly blank and occasionally nodding off. I also went to the noon meeting on a Wednesday only to find that no one came to open the door to have a meeting. So I waited on the cold marble steps outside the meeting room. Then after about 30 minutes, I got out a copy of Grapevine and read three stories, as my first sponsor trained me to read three Big Book or Grapevine stories when I couldn’t make a meeting.

-- George M.

Camden, Maine

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