They say ‘all good things must come to an end’ and perhaps while we’re still constrained by the physical limitations of time they indeed must. So while the summer of 2010 must indeed bow to the oncoming autumn it’s repercussions will not. The friends, the family, the experiences, the lessons and the laughter will be something that I will carry with me for the rest of my lucid days.
I suppose therein lies the reason behind my lack of contact and ‘blogging’ since being on the island. I’ve been so full up of life teaching me things and changing me that I couldn’t possibly fathom how I might communicate any of it without sounding slightly unhinged.
So with a little bit of space and a change of scenery I feel like perhaps I might have processed what I can from the summer. Part summary, part diary, part word vomit. Perhaps this might offer you just a small piece of the journey that was Santorini.
Read it. Don’t. It’s here regardless.
Santorini is essentially what remains of an enormous volcanic explosion. Ridiculous and crazy as it might sound the island gives off an energy, an aura. A minute vibration. The kind of thing you can’t out your finger on but that is always in the background. It plays on your emotions, your relationships, your core. Put this together with an excess of sun and alcohol and things are bound to get interesting.
You can’t fire me!
Oh but they can. And the did. Twice. Allow me to harp on for a moment, but I pride myself on my work ethic instilled in me by two very hard-working, ball breaking South African parents. I have been in the workforce a long time and have an enviable tenure record on my resume. I respect my employers and the career ladder. I was born to be a 9-5er. So take a moment to imagine the rate at which my head spun off my shoulders when I got fired. Twice.
I respectively parted ways with Bobs Bar after he accused me of stealing tips (also twice) whilst wearing a pocketless outfit. After a small but public “would you like to strip search me” moment in front of customers I thought it best I moved on. I did however remain friends with Vasilis, the perpetually greasy, sleazy, Lebanese/Greek bartender.
I then made my way a little further up the main street, by request of the owner to waitress at Atlas Bar. Two weeks later, without warning I was ‘let off’ by the bartender with no explanation. As it eventuated my replacement was providing the boss a blow jobs on the side where I wouldn’t. For the first time in my life I’d been fired, and it rocked my world. But handed another job the same day I managed to walk away from the experience with my head held at a reasonable angle.
Until that is I got fired. Again. The competition between pubs and bars on the Main Street of Perissa is fierce. Particularly because of the quiet season and also because the Greeks love a good drama. Which I found myself on the brunt of. Feuding families and bars, I was told I was “bad for business” because I was consistently to be found hanging out at Soul Bar (my second home) whilst not at work. Two days later I started to work at Soul Bar as the day time ‘bar tender’. Nevertheless 4 jobs in 10 weeks and I lost my shit a little. Whilst I think I’ve ravelled myself back up again, it felt good to be unravelled.
Oh my goodness did we eat. Tzatziki, tomato balls, grilled feta, baked feta, plain feta, mousaka, saganaki, greek salads, tuna salads, souvlaki and gyros.
With friends in the afternoon, in the evening, by the pool, at the bar, at the beach, at Porto Castello, at Acropolis. Litre after litre of white wine, sangria, ridiculously sweet cocktails, lime and lager. We shot Jaeger, Ursus, North and Raki. Sometimes to get drunk, mostly just because we could.
At Beach Bar (the lone club on the island) to that stupid Americano song, to Waka Waka, to JLO, to Enrique, to Rihanna, to ‘I love dance’. We danced before work, during work and after work until stupid hours of the morning. I danced with locals, with tourists, with new friends, with Lana and with Liv. I danced like a twat, I danced sober, I danced drunk.
Holding the hand of a very good friend. Off a cliff at Ammoudi Bay and I felt like I could do anything in the world. I felt like I was flying for a moment in time. I wanted to do it over and over again.
Everywhere! When it was appropriate, when it wasn’t. Just because we could.
In the Soul Bar pool, in the Aegean. In the morning, the afternoon, the evening, at 4am, with friends, by myself, with swimmers and without.
Some of the most amazing scenery I have ever seen in my short and insignificant time on earth.
A little about the Greek (Santorinian) culture. About some of the do’s and don’ts. I learnt about the:
Greek hand – a quick succession of waves with one hand in the air meaning anything from ‘jog on’ to ‘go fuck yourself’.
Greek face/s – I don’t care, I might care, I might care later, wait till I’m finished my frappe, do I know you, do I look like I care, whatever, malaka.
People. Amazing people. People that became like an ‘island family’. I found old friends that became part of my soul, I found new friends who gave me a piece of theirs. Friends that I will travel the world to see again. Friends that will last a life time. From everywhere, young, old and Greek. People who changed me.
Consider this summer one of the richest experiences of my life. I will also miss the island and the people I have met.
God willing intend to go back for Summer 2011.
Never laughed so much and so hard in my life.
Have the time of my life.