A Greek afternoon

18 Jun


While the European Union is contemplating about whether to give Greece another multi-billion euro bailout, life on Patmos passes by without to many worries. The 3000+ inhabitants of this tiny island are preparing for the busiest period of the year. The tourists will flood the island with it’s breathtaking beaches and clear waters. The religious will be visiting the famous, still active, Monastery of Ioanni tou Theologou, which was built in 1088 a.d. and the ancient Grotto of the Apocalypse where ‘The Revelation’ was enscripted in 95 a.d. by St. John the Theologian.

“yamas,yamas!!”, another full glass of local wine was to be consumed. It was the third or maybe fourth glass already, in a mere twenty minutes but we were still trying to brave the amount of alcohol our extremely friendly hosts were offering us. The sun was loosing it’s strength, but it was still able to give some of the bronzed faces a very distinctive sub-tropical look. The joking continued, we did not really understand what was said, but sometimes humor surpasses the language barrier. “You should get on with it. You have been married for months!”, Christopolos said to the couple sitting opposite of him. The couple from Samos just got married and were visiting Prokopis who had the honor to marry them earlier this year. Spyros, clearly embarrased, looked at his wife and started to smile and ended up laughing loudly, when Prokopis started pointing and screaming at Christopolos: “She is pregnant, you Malaka*! Can’t you see?”. He was right about her physical appearance, but I did not know she was pregnant either until Stella, Prokopis’ wife told us when we arrived. The ass was impressive. I just could not resist to look at it when she started to wander off to the kitchen. Some sub-saharan African women should be jealous. She was not liking this part of the conversation but she just could not handle this much male power at the table. Her husband was still laughing and it was hard for us not to laugh with him. He had a very funny laugh, which sounded a bit like a diesel engine having trouble to start.

“Malakas, Malakas! Did they gave up their jobs to travel the world?”, Prokopis asked, his face clearly a bit puzzled. He could not believe it. Stavroz added: “But they can probably go back to their jobs when returning from their trip.” We said no. “That’s what Europeans do. They just do those things.”, Christopolos added. “Anyway, he is probably madly in love and doesn’t know what he is doing. So, let’s have another drink!”, Prokopis said, while raising the jug with the local wine again. The sympathetic grin returned to his face. Unfortunately our glasses were half empty at that moment and trust me, they did not see that as half full. So our glasses were full again. Stavros, a drinking buddy of his, clearly an alcoholic, was laughing and hoping he was getting his glass topped up as well. “No, you have to get some stones for the house before you get more drinks and cigarettes!”. “I would go, but it is almost three o’clock and they are closing at three. So, next time. Now, Give me a drink and some cigarettes!”. Prokopis gave him a big poke in his side and said: “Malaka! I knew it, you lazy Malaka. Here you go.”.

The cigarettes were lid. “You know, you shouldn’t smoke, Prokopis! Your heart will stop beating one of these days.”, Christopolos carefully suggested. “On second thought. Do smoke! So we have a new single female on the island!”. Everybody laughed. This time Prokopis was not amused but started to fill the half empty glasses anyway. His mood improved when Hilje started to give him some attention. She asked: “By the way, our ferry to Pireus is not leaving until Sunday, can we stay another night? For free?”. Talking about timing. I like her style.

The inevitable restructuring of the Greek debt, which defacto means bankruptcy, will not affect the island too much. They are very much self sufficient. Unfortunately, the Europeans will not be able to handle the physological pressure of a member going bankrupt so they will again kick the can down the road and approve the bailout during this weekend talks. But for the hussler, Prokopis and friends, life is good and will remain good. Especially when the plans for an airport will be finalised. Privately funded, ofcourse.

As for the rest of the Greeks, I would suggest to ask Zeus for a helping hand. He was said to be the one erecting Patmos from the seas, so averting a depression must be peanuts.

* Malaka = Wanker


4 Responses to “A Greek afternoon”

  1. nanette June 20, 2011 at 6:37 am #

    Aγαπητοί φίλοι
    Keep traveling, keep writing, great stuff! Every story gives a day just that little bit extra! The travel-bug starts biting here!!!!

  2. Janneke Rogaar June 19, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    Lieve Hilje,
    Ja, ik heb het intussen gevonden. Je ouders stuurden de link door.
    Wat heerlijk zitten jullie daar op dat beschaduwde terras met volle borden, volle glazen en vrolijke gastvrije Grieken.
    Veel liefs,

  3. roelf rogaar June 18, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    Manengu ,
    terwijl jij al niet meer weet hoe een goede wijn smaakt , maar wel weer hoe je een goed en onvergetelijk gesprek voert op Patmos , drink ik jouw beste whisky op en denk ik aan jullie. Goede vaart morgen en vergeet niet iets lekkers mee te nemen voor onder weg en dat je met andere medereizigers kan delen.
    Onze overtocht bleek een deinende picknick van begin tot eind.

    Yours , Roelf.

    • Bou June 20, 2011 at 6:44 am #

      Great stuff! Keep it up!
      PS: Trust Roelf won’t finish all your malts!

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