Yesterday, I slept late. I was comfortable in bed. My body refused to move.

Later, I took a walk. Up and down Ermou Street, Athen’s busiest commercial street. I finally learned its name yesterday even though I have spoken of it every day.

Saw an inviting outdoor café. Took a table. Sat for two hours watching the Greek world go by. I ordered a freddo cappuccino. It is a cold cappuccino. It is the only Greek coffee I have learned by name. Ergo, it is my drink of choice where ever I go.

I made some observations and arrived at some conclusions while sitting. Let me share them with you.

Spaghetti seems to be the lunch favorite in Greece. The famous Greek salad comes in the evening.

There have been no demonstrations while I have been in Athens this year. Last year, I was fortunate to walk through two involving thousands of people. There are union called protests. Nothing however like the ad hoc yelling crowds of last summer.

I constantly learn. Learn of my mistakes. I always thought Acropolis and Parthenon were two separate sets of old buildings on top of the same mountain. Turns out Acropolis is the mountain and Parthenon the buildings.

Sneaks are different in Greece. Whether male or female, they are low slung. Similar to the American walking sneak. No one wears the big Nike. I did. Stopped. Thought I looked foolish, that every one was looking at my feet.

Sandals are also big with men and women. I was ok in this regard. Sandals have a universal appearance.

Women’s foot attire is another story. Athens needs a Stephanie Kaple. Heels forget. On the whole trip thus far, I have seen one set of stiletto heels. A woman working in a high end jewelry store on Santorini was wearing a pair of four inchers.

Platform shoes are worn. Not that many, however. Most women, whether dressed or casual, walk around in sandals with full backs at the ankles. They seem to be the female shoe of choice.

The New Dawn Party is a rebirth of the Nazi Party. It is a growing influence in Greece. When I see them in their black uniforms, I feel the same way as I did on Amorgos when the big Greek Coast Guard vessel arrived and sat in the middle of the entrance to the harbor for several days. Intimidated.

Automobiles were in the minority in Milan. Mopeds were the vehicle of choice. In Athens, it is the motorcycle. I have never seen so many. Crossing the street is a dangerous event!

Young Greek men are lovers. Especially in Athens. They move on every woman, regardless of age. The ladies seem to expect and enjoy it.

There is a constant sense of being a part of history when a person is in Greece. Much like visiting the Washington Memorials, Mount Vernon or Gettysburg.

I quick visited a museum I came across behind Parliament. Entry fee 10 euros. What country are you from? The USA. 10 euros. Seems only the US and German patrons pay 10 euros. Everyone else, 2 euros. We know the Greeks hate the Germans. I can understand why the Germans would not be given a break. But why an American citizen? The Greeks seem to love us. Big time! I suspect they believe Americans are all rich and can afford full price.

The young lady collecting the admission fee at the door and I had a brief chat. She was very upset. She recently finished her university education. She has four degrees. Could not get a job. She works as a ticket seller at the museum and makes a paltry 300 euros a month. $400 American money. She is angered.

I stopped at the Grande Bretagne for a manicure. The same young lady that did me last year did me yesterday. Her name, Chrysa. She said upon seeing me…..You are from Key West, you were here last year. Amazing!

I shall close with the saga of the two elevators.

I think I am losing it a bit.

I had to take the elevator to get to the beauty shop. The elevator doors shut behind me. I looked to both sides and saw no button panel. I did see a sign at eye level. It was dark, had on sunglasses, and have bad vision to boot. The word VOICE stood out. Next to the sign were two little speakers.

I was impressed. A new elevator concept. You recall I experienced one in Washington, DC recently. I said….Two. Nothing happened. I have a clear deep distinct voice. I repeated the number several times. Nothing happened.

I thought…..Shit, I’m stuck in an elevator!

My eyes dropped. There at about knee level was the usual appearing button panel. I pressed 2 and was on my way. I read the sign when the doors opened at 2. The message was in effect to relax if you were stuck. A voice would come on in due course and you could talk to someone.

I returned to my hotel. I am staying in 806. The door opener is one of those swipe things. The door would not open. It had opened the previous two days with no trouble using the same card. I found the floor cleaning lady and told her of my plight. She agreed to let me in. We tried my card again first. She asked what my room number was. I told her 806. We were on the sixth floor and I was trying to get into 606!

Enjoy your day!


Athens has street beggars. On its most commercial street. Immediately below the Parliament building.

I walked there yesterday. Within the first four blocks, I saw five beggars.

The first three were elderly women. Marked by the absence of teeth. One or two hanging, otherwise gums. One woman was seated in the middle of the street. The street was closed off to vehicular traffic. The other two walked up to me. Each holding a a cup in hand and saying something in Greek that I could not understand. Their intent was clear, however…..Help me!

The next two were male. One without feet and the other without arms.

The one without feet was the easier of the two to handle. He was sitting with his back up against a building. His feet were missing from just above the ankles.

The armless one was gut wrenching.

I saw this man sitting on the curb. He was missing one arm from just below the shoulder. The other from just above the elbow. His arm remnants were extended. One sort of up, the shorter one at about a 25 degree angle.

At first, I thought the man was a statue. He did not seem to move. I went into a nearby doorway to observe him. He was human. He was alive. His abbreviated limbs moved on occasion. Though, slightly.

His face was disgusting. He must have been the victim of an explosion or fire. Tan and yellow skinned. Hanging flesh. His head was almost completely bald. He did have a tuft of hair on the back. Sticking straight up.

I returned to observe him closely. At a respectable distance.

His eyes. At first I thought him blind. His eyes were both to one direction and looking upward. Not moving. Then, moved slightly. He may have been of limited vision.

Clothe in rags. A small bowl in front of him for contributions.

We do not see this in the United States. Fortunately. Begging has always been a part of Greek society. It amazes me that the Greek government has never done something to help these people. Even in better economic times.

I ended up taking the longest walk of my trip. It was not intended. It just happened. I walked to the plaka. At its entrance to the side, I observed a large sign. Athens Flea Market. Why not!

The flea market was extensive. Long. Like the winding alleys of the Casbah. Once in, it was hard to find the way out. I just kept walking.

Finally, I found a side street leading directly into one of the main plaka streets. The one on the Rockefeller side, the poor side. I walked it to the bitter end. First time.

On the way back, I stopped at an outdoor café to rest. It was boiling hot. Parts of my shirt soaking wet.

I enjoyed a draft beer and observed.

I was seated with the building the Rockefeller Foundation had paid to reconstruct 500 feet to the front of me. Massive. Sits at the base of Acropolis. To my back was an archeological digging. A pretty good sized one. Many persons working. Excavating a community hidden for centuries beneath the ground. Houses, rooms and old pathways could be observed.

I also got to observe business done the Greek way. There are street hustlers everywhere. Peddling their goods to tourists. One was walking around with a handful of men’s wrist watches. He was negotiating the price with a tourist. Turned out to be a young American. The peddler wanted 20 euros for one. The American said no and counter offered. By the time the transaction was over, the American walked away with 2 watches for 10 euros.

It made me wonder. Could the watches be for real? They looked good. But at that price? I suspect the watches were devoid of innards to make them work. Or, were stolen goods and therefore any price was a profitable one.

I stopped into the Rockefeller renovated building. Sort of a museum. Saw a baby’s high chair estimated to have been built some 2,000 years before the birth of Christ. Nothing much changed in design from then to now.

Last night was a disappointment. I ate at the same café I had eaten at 4 weeks ago in the plaka. I had a terrific meal at the time. Went back for another one. Ordered the exact same thing. Even had the same waiter. Grilled egg plant and a dish of assorted grilled meats.

The meal sucked! It was terrible!

Such is life.

Enjoy your day!


Athens is a 25 minute flight from Santorini. I had to wait 45 minutes to get my luggage. Amazing!

Nikos drove me to the Santorini airport. What a guy!

I noticed on the drive into Athens from the airport that there were a lot of police cars. The cab driver told me it was because Italy’s Prime Minister Enrico Letta was in town to meet with the Greek hierarchy.

For some reason, I was not in the mood for plaka last night. My usual Athens night time haunt. I walked in the other direction. Ended up at the Grande Bretagne. I had tried to get a room there when planning the trip. One of the world’s great hotels. I was told there were no available rooms.

There were a lot of policemen outside the Grande Bretagne. Inside, I had to go through security. Like in an airport. I sensed Letta might be staying there. I would not ask, however. Greece makes me uncomfortable on occasion.

I enjoyed a superior evening at the Grande Bretagne! Even better than that!

I started at the bar. I was drinking Beefeaters. During my talk with the bartender, he asked if I had ever tried Beefeaters’ 24 Gin. It is Beefeaters top of the line. Forget never having drunk it, I had never heard of it. I wonder how many of you have.

In any event, I tried a glass. I did not like it. It had a perfumey bouquet like Bombay Saphire.

I decided to eat something. It was around 11 in the evening. I had not eaten since brfeakfast. I took a small intimate table just outside the bar area.

I ordered bruschetta. Three different types were served on vertical slices of a French type bread. One salmon, another mozzarella and tomato. The third was a vegetable of some sort. I susect zucchini crushed into an oily dressing. The whole thing to die for!

There was a piano player. Seated at a large baby grand. He played only American songs. He caught my ear with My Way. Later, his rendition of the theme from the Godfather blew me out.

There I was seated in absolute beauty enjoying excellent food and entertainment.

I thought how lucky I was.

The room. The Grande Bretagne is a distinguished old hotel. The bar area where I was seated is on the side of a huge high ceilinged dining area. Columns to the sky. Paintings. Antique furniture pieces. A physical heaven.

The Germans desecrated the Grande Bretagne with their presence during World War II. High ranking German officers occupied the hotel for living purposes. Offices were maintained in the building, also. I could envision German officers enjoying the room then as I was last night. A shame.

When I left, I had to pass through the crowd of police. I made it out just in time. I was 25 feet from the hotel when the sirens came blasting. Cars drove up. Four abreast. The street is extremely wide. Brakes screeched.

It was the man!

Italy’s Prime Minister Letta was staying at the Grande Bregtagne. He hopped out of his limo, gave a wave to everyone around, and entered the hotel. He had his jacket slung across his arm, no tie and his sleeves rolled up. Gave the impression he had been working. Some one told me that is his trade mark. No jacket or tie, sleeves rolled up.

I recently read that when ever Obama travels anywhere, like 200 staff and protection persons travel with him. The cars he will use are transported by plane, also. It made it easy for me to understand the retinue of cars stopping and people following the Prime Minister into the hotel.

There are two type police in downtown Athens these days. One official. The other unofficial, but tolerated. The usual police and members of the New Dawn Party. The New Dawn Party is the Nazi type political party gaining power on an increasing basis every day. The New Dawn members wore black and both walked and rode mopeds. Young good looking strong appearing individuals. I saw them out and about last night. In three different places. They travel in groups.

There was some sort of demonstration yesterday in front of the New Dawn headquarters in downtown Athens. Near Parliament. The party memebrs played the Nazi National Anthem. The very same one banned in Germany since World War II. During the demonstration, New Dawn handed out free food to whoever needed it. Not a hot dog. Bags of food. Families have a hard time getting enough food to eat in Greece these days.

Immigrants are the Jews of yesterday. The New Dawn Party blames them for Greece’s economic problems. Each person receiving food first had to establish he/she was not an immigrant.

I cannot wait to walk the streets of Athens today. Greece is an interesting and increasingly dangerous place.

Enjoy your day!


I’m Greeked out! I am ready to move on. This does not mean I do not like Greece. It just means I have experienced it all for this year and boredom is starting to set in.

My time in Greece was extended from originally planned. I sensed something happening in Greece the first week I was here. I wanted to verify my feelings. My plans were juggled to permit me to extended my Greece time by two weeks. Whatever I wanted to accomplish has been accomplished. In my mind. My thoughts to be shared when I return.

For me, Greece is three islands and Athens.

Athens is pure love. It is one of the world’s great cities. Like New York, Paris, and London. What is there not to like? My return to Athens is for three nights. Then to the Italian alps. A Swiss chalet half way up Mont Blanc. Within an hour’s drive to Switzerland and France.

The three islands I have come to know are Mykonos, Santorini, and Amorgos. Mykonos has the best beaches. Santorini the best view. Amorgos the best wind. Amorgos also has the promise of tomorrow.

I spent two weeks in Mykonos last year. Ten days planned and four extra days because I could not get a ferry boat out due to the bad seas. I did not like Mykonos. Ergo, it was not on the agenda this year.

Mykonos became famous back in the 1950s and 1960s. Movie stars and jet setters popularized the place. It became their playland. 2013 is 50-60 years later. Mykonos still has the reputation. However, there is not a movie star or jet setter on the island. It has become a tourist haven. Wannabes looking for the excitement of yesterday. Additionally, a tourist trap. Merchants hustle everyone. Friendliness lacking.

Therein lie the reasons I did not return to Mykonos this year.

Mykonos does have one non-comparable attribute, however. Its beaches. The best I have ever seen. Soft sand. Quiet water. Great beach bars and restaurants. Plus, topless and nude women. The women merely frosting on the cake. The beaches are that good.

Santorini has a view that is spectacular. Absolutely spectacular! The Lord could not have planned it better. The cave apartments also add to the ambiance. However, you cannot sit on a cave terrace and watch the view all day every day. That is where the problem comes in. After a volcano visit and catamaran trip, there is little to do.

Santorini is becoming a tourist haven. Most merchants on the hustle. Waiters disrespectful. Food not always the best. Prices very expensive. Note however there are still many places and people to the contrary. Such as the Taverna Katina and my cave apartment landlords Nikos and Maria.

Santorini is still good. I fear however it is becoming the tourist trap that Mykonos is.

Amorgos is like a five year old child. On the verge of blooming. It awaits the world.

The island is yet to be discovered. As I have stated in the past, it is a 100 years behind the times. Sitting on the Aegean, waiting for the world to visit it. Prices still dramatically cheap. Anywhere from 50 to 100 per cent cheaper than Mykonos and Santorini. The merchants love you and you love them. They care for you, are thankful for your business, and do their best to please you.

The beaches leave something to be desired. Stoney beaches. Water clear, however. Think Le Grand Bleu.

Amorgos has the wind! A big wind! Kept Katopola where I was staying comfortable all day. A strong cool wind off the sea is almost a necessity of life on a Greek isle in the summer months.

My sense is that Amorgos will be where Santorini is today 20 years from now. Sad. Enjoy it in the meantime.

I spent four hours yesterday morning at the internet store. First correcting my messed up blog from the day before, then doing yesterday’s blog, and finally writing next week’s KONK Life column. The article is interesting. The Real America. It starts with Michael Moore. Then goes from Travon Martin to Obama to Bank of America to the Religious Right to Pat Robertson to Halliburton. The column closes with Weiner and Spitzer. A revealing commentary in many respects. Some things you may not have known.

Lunch was at Mezzo. A chocolate milk shake again. I am a little boy at heart.

Later this afternoon, I start the trek to Athens. Tonight the Plaka. Dinner at the foot of a lighted Acropolis and Parthenon.

I will be in Athens three nights.

The family and I are in touch. Jake is getting car sick. Just from a short ride around town.

Enjoy your day!


Wi Fi did me in yesterday! I was completing, correcting and revising my blog. The Wi Fi kept going in and out. Somehow the final product did not get published. An earlier one did. With all the misspellings and improper grammar.

I did not know till this morning. I am profoundly sorry. I take too much pride in the product to have sent it off in the fashion it was received.

The blog was corrected this morning. It was good to go and is good to read.

Two nights ago Maria told me yesterday would be the hottest day of the summer. It was! What heat! Overbearing!

I have never had need to use the air conditioning in my cave. Yes, even caves have air conditioning. Yesterday, I did. Then prostrated myself on the bed for 4-5 hours till the sun receded over the cliff to the west.

Before the heat hit me, I was walking. I realized very soon how difficult it would be. I stopped into Mezzo to get out of the heat and have lunch.

Even at 78, I get cravings. I have been thinking of a chocolate milk shake the past few days. I satisfied my desire yesterday. A chocolate shake for lunch! I am still a kid at 78.

I spent parts of the day off and on working on next week’s KONK Life column. The Real America. It will be short and hard hitting. Another eye opener.

Last night was lamb on the spit again at the same taverna where I enjoyed it two nights earlier. Same good! Same taste!

I sense I am mellowing out. First time in ages. A good feeling.

Enjoy your day!


Computer hook ups can be a problem on the road. I know.

First, forget anything your provider suggests. It will not be dependable and cost too much for nothing but pure aggravation.

The key is Wi Fi. I consider Wi Fi a blessing. A benefit to travelers who need, depend on, love their computers. To those who cannot live without.

I have found however that when you are in the boondocks of the world as I am, even Wi Fi has its drawbacks. Wi Fi is generally dependable. However, if everyone wants on at the same time, it does not work. I am staying at a first class resort on Santorini in the Greek isles. From 6 to 8 in the morning, no problem. My computer works terrific. I have internet connection world wide.

The world starts waking at 8. Overload. The Wi Fi connections weakens. Generally, no Wi Fi for a couple of hours. The same problem around 3 in the afternoon when everyone comes in from the beach or out of the sun.

Still better than nothing.

When I am desperate, I find an internet store. For a couple of dollars I have a strong connection everywhere. However, an internet store is an inconvenience since I want on when I want it and not at the convenience of store hours.

So much for venting.

Yesterday was haircut time. I needed one badly. I have little hair on top. However I was three haircuts behind. My hair looked terrible.

I visited Catherine. The owner of hair & soul (spelled with small letters) who gave me a manicure 3 weeks ago and a manicure last year, also. My first haircut with her. In her beauty shop with three women getting their hair done at the same time.

I told Catherine use the #1 setting. She did. Two minutes later my haircut was complete. A stub just above bald.

Catherine felt guilty. No time involved. She threw in doing my ears and eyebrows. She also gave med a cool rinse to wash out the little hairs and cool my head.

When I went to pay, she said no. I cannot charge. I did nothing. After twisting her arm, she said 10 euros. I gave her 15. Kissed her on the cheek and said see you next year.

Maria is one of the owners of my cave hotel. She washes and irons my clothes. For nothing. Everyone seems to feel sorry for me and want to do with out recompense.

Maria brought me a bowl of big fresh figs. From her garden. I had two for lunch. Delicious!

I spent three hours in the afternoon at the pool. Under an umbrella, of course. The sun was a killer. I already have a deep tan from just walking around.

First, I was alone. Then two young European ladies showed up. Mid 20s. Lovely. Bikini clad. They were enjoying the pool and hot tub. How they could handle the hot tub, I did not know.

A little later two more young ladies arrived. Asians. 20s also. Lovely, as well.

They wanted shade. They set down on the two lounges next to me. The only shady spot available. Bikini clad.

It was my day!

Before the afternoon was over, the four and I had become fast friends. The two Europeans were from Bulgaria. Girl friends on a holiday. The two Asians, China. Also girl friends on a holiday.

They could not speak English. I could not speak their languages. We had a terrific conversation. One of the Bulgarian ladies had brought a bag of fresh vegetables and fruit to eat. The bag was shared. I enjoyed figs again and a banana.

I wondered how they could afford Santorini. So young.

Last night was dinner at Taverna Katina. My favorite restaurant on Santorini. Set at the base of a mammoth cliff directly on the water. I once again sat on the very edge of the pier. If I swayed too much one way, I would have been in.

I ate at Taverna Katina 3-4 times last year. Three times again 3 weeks ago. I was remembered. A nice feeling.

I did not need the menu. I enjoyed a fish egg salad and greens for appetizers. The fish eggs were crushed and mixed into some kind of soft cheese with a touch of olive oil. The greens boiled and served covered with a touch of oil.

My entre was sea bass. I have come to love sea bass. The fish is splayed, grilled and then covered with a touch of olive oil. Olive oil on everything in Greece! Sea bass has a sweet taste to it.

I enjoyed the entire meal.

Maria’s husband Nikos drove me to and then picked me up from the restaurant. Great people! I do not believe they do this for everyone. I made two good friends of them last year.

Enjoy your day!


Some things are difficult to believe. Such as the story I am about to relate.

Two years ago, a new cave hotel opened in Oia. Adronis Suites. About 300 feet from Nikos’ place where I am staying. Everyone tells me the new cave hotel is expensive. Very expensive. How much? Responses varied from $1,000 to $1,500 per night. Hard to believe.

I stopped at the new hotel yesterday. Brochure? No brochure. They handed me their business card and said all I wanted to know would be on internet.

The rooms go for 3,700 euros a night! $5,000 American money!

I find it hard ot believe. I cannot believe it. I lived my life denying myself nothing. Went everywhere, did everything. Never was I asked for that kind of money. And rest assured that had I been asked, I would not have payed it!


I watched two young ladies checking in this morning. Early 20s. No way could they afford the place. They were scrawny appearing. Not that good looking. Not kept women if the thought occurred to you.

I have a feeling the hotel is some devious operation. Perhaps money laundering. Who knows. If legitimate, I spent a lifetime in the wrong business. I should have owned a couple of high end hotels like this place.

The wind has become a factor.

Amorgos had the burning sun every day. No humidity. Always cool because of the northwest wind which blew into the bay.

Santorini was hot yesterday. Hot hot. Like I cannot take anymore hot. No wind. More accurately stated, no wind on my side of the cliff. The Oia side.

The cooling wind comes from the northwest for Santorini, also. However, Oia faces southwest. The caves and Oia life are over the crest of the hill facing southwest. The cold northwest wind only 500 feet away. But on the other side of the crest. Ergo, the mountain itself blocks the cooling northwest wind for those of us on the southwest side.

The choice is the view or comfort. The view is worth the discomfort.

Oia’s evenings are cool. There is no humidity day or night here. The masterful wind from the northwest is called meltemi. It only exists in July and August. Then gone until the following year.

During the winter, the wind comes from the southwest. It reverses itself. Nikos said starting in late October the wind is so cold, even he and his family move to another part of the island.

I mentioned the huge number of cats on Amorgos. I rarely saw a dog. I recall my last 1 1/2 hours standing on the concrete port dock in Amorgosw in the boiling sun waiting for the ferry boat to arrive. While standing there, an elderly woman opened the door to her home. Out she came followed by 15 cats. I counted them.

On Santorini, I have only seen dogs. Many of them. Not a cat yet, though I am sure they are here.

Dinner last night was spectacular. I was tired. Heat exhaustion. I did not want to walk far. Ended up in a nearby tiny restaurant. Sat outside on the deck.

I asked what was good. Something different is cooked every evening. I wanted lamb chops. He said…..lamb on the spit!

We had a language problem. I made it known I would like to go in the kitchen and look at the lamb cooking. I was allowed to so do.

The cook was happy to see me. He was probably in his 60s. Bald headed. Fat. No shirt. Bare to the waist. Sweating big time. Chopping something up with a huge cleaver. Which he handled with precision.

There on the spit was this large former sheep turning and cooking. Actually being kept warm. It looked already cooked. Juices dripping off it.

I had lamb on the spit. I am convinced it was lamb and not goat. It looked like a lamb cooking and tasted unquestionably like lamb. I have never enjoyed a more tasteful piece of lamb. Juices still moist. Tender. Just the right amount of fatty taste.

When I finished, I went in the kitchen to congratulate the cook. Actually, thank him. I could see from the look on his face that I had made his evening.

The heat is already up today. I feel like I am in a blast furnace. I have walked. As soon as I finish here, I am going down to the pool to cool off.

Enjoy your day!


After three delightful weeks on Amorgos, I have returned to Santorini for a week. Santorini will be an enjoyable stay.

The two islands are different.

I love Amorgos because it is yesterday and laid back. Santorini is the view. Different flavors, different strokes. Each satisfying in its own way.

Santorini is a one hour ferry boat ride from Amorgos. It took me all day! Yesterday had its negatives.

I did not know till 3:30 in the afternoon whether the ferry boat was coming. Bad seas. In the meantime, I had to pack and leave my apartment because new tenants were coming in. Eleni was good, however. She arranged a room for me in the event I had to stay another night on Amorgos. However, I could not gain access to the room till it was certain I was staying over.

I was with a large suitcase with no where to go. I stayed on the terrace in the sun. Spent some time at Mythos. Said my goodbyes to three special friends I made. Spyros, Vangelis and Suzanna. Good people all!

Then word came. The boat was coming! Joy to me and a hundred other persons.

The ferry boat was due at 5:30. It was an hour late. Did not show till 6:30. I was standing on a concrete dock in the sun for 1 1/2 hours waiting.

The boat got me to Santorini at 8. One and a half hours late. The seas were still rough. The first 15 minutes of the ride were a bit exciting. I thought I was going to get sick! I assume everyone else thought they were going to, also. Up and down, big dips, with no end in sight. Started just as we left the harbor. After 15 minutes it stopped and was a smooth ride the rest of the way in.

Nikos met me. What a great guy! His cave apartments are on the other side of the island from where the ferry boat landed. Maria gave me a Greek hug and kiss when I got to the caves.

Andromaxi welcomed me with a big hug and kiss when I arrived at Mezzo! She was excited to see me. I was excited to see her. You will recall that I described her a few weeks ago as a classic Greek female beauty.

I wanted a cheeseburger! Chbeeseburger in paradise. Another paradise. I had not had beef in quite a while. Delicious!

I stopped in the bakery store this morning to buy a warm roll. The elderly woman who runs the place gave me a big smile and hug, also. First time.

Santorini is a hugging and kissing place. All of Greece is for that matter.

Besides the various differences described between Amorgos and Santorini, there is another. Santorini is more expensive than Amorgos. Tremendously so!

My best estimate is 50 per cent higher for the same item. What was 4 euros on Amorgos is six on Santorini. In one instance, the difference was 100 per cent. A bottle of Beefeaters on Amorgos was 12 euro. The same size bottle last night on Santorini was 23.90 euros.

Accomodations are also significangtly more expensive.

Santorini is not a poor man’s paradise!

The beauty of Santorini is beyond description. I arrived as the sun set. I was sitting outside this morning when the sun rose. God worked a wonder when He inflicted the volcano eruption on this island some 1,600 years ago.

Enjoy your day!


History repeats itself.

Last year I was stranded on Mykonos four extra days. The sea was too choppy. The ferry boats would not venture out.

It is happening again in Amorgos. The ferry boat did not arrive yesterday. Sea too rough. As I write this morning, I have been told it is doubtful the boat will come in today. Perhaps tomorrow.

I minded the inconvenience last year because I did not like Myukonos. I do not mind if I am forced to stay another night on Amorgos, however. Amorgos is one the best places in the world!

The only problem is where do I stay. I lose my apartment today. Eleni says she has a room for me on the third floor. A hike up long steep stairs. At least, I will have a place to sleep.

The funny part of all this is that I only need a ferry boat for a one hour trip. I am returning to Santorini for a few days. Santorini is one hour away.

I had dinner at Mythos again last night. He told me his fisherman said there would be no ferry boat today. The water beyond the bay is too rough.

There ia a boat in the area which gives me concern. The Greek military vessel at the opening to Amorgos’harbor. It is still there. I am sitting outside doing this blog. The monster is directly in my vision.

The vessel is big. I find it intimidating. I keep waiting for a few shells to fall on this small inconsequential island.

I started asking questions yesterday. Turns out the ship is a Greek Coast Guard vessel. I have never seen anything this big in Key West. Most refer to it as a battleship. I doubt it is. However, believe me, it is huge! Even has a big helicopter perched on the rear deck.

There are two versions as why it is here.

Apparently, the Turks flew two planes over Greek soil last week. The Coast Guard vessel is in response to the unauthorized flight. I amn aware Turkey is close by. Not that close, however.

The other version is the boat is part of a training exercise.

The vessel will not leave till friday. It will have sat in the entrance to Amorgos bay for ten days. Many are pissed it is there. Greece is hurting economically. Manuy island people consider it a waste of money for the big boat to sit idle.

Flora stopped by last night before I went out. All dressed up! Lovely! A bright red skirt and black armless top. The colors of Albania. The Albanian flag is red with a big black bird in the center.

Flora and I have become friends. We moved the relationship forward last night. We became Facebook friends.

Before Flora arrived, I was sitting outside on the terrace half asleep. Rita from the other day came by on her bike. To say goodbye to the third American on the island, as she described me. It was nice of her. Her next stop was her garden.

Everyone has a garden on this island. They grow their own vegetables. I suspect they can the foods for the winter.

Canning is a throw back in time. I can recall as a young boy in the late 1930s helping my parents can tomatoes and peaches. Fun, but not easy. Hot work. No air conditioning back then. We lived on the third floor of an apartment building. The top floor. The roof was flat. The tomatoes had to be boiled. Contributed to the heat. Then peeled. Then canned in Bell glass jars. Following which the bottled tomatoes had to be boiled again. The heat and sweat big time.

A full day job. Many jars of tomatoes to be done. We ate pasta at least three times a week. The tomatoes necessary for the sauce.

Last night, a wonderful evening. One of the best. I dined at Mythos.

I decided on lamb chops. Vangelis said no. I have a goat. A whole goat. Cooked it myself. Have the goat. You will enjoy. His food has been so good, I did not argue with him.

A whole goat had been roasted. My plate was overflowing with slices and pieces of goat meat. Some covered in a crispy skin. It was fantastic! Tasted just like the pigs we roasted outdoors for parties in Utica. Great flavor and texture.

After dinner, Vangelis and Suzanna sat with me. It was late. Their work was done. Others were cleaning up. We chatted for well over an hour.

Terrific people! Vangelis is Greek. Suzanna, Albanian. As Flora is. I told Suzanna her name was from the old South in America. I sang the first line of Old, Susanna to her. She knew of it.

They met when Vangelis was on vacation in Albania close to 20 years ago.

Hard working people. Suzanna cooks. Vangelis does everything else. He hosts, takes orders, serves. Their 15 year old daughter works incessantly. Without complaint. These people go seven days a week for three months. The daughter is as good as the father in what she does. The ten year old son serves and cleans tables. Then there is the 13 month old baby. Lovely! She is in someone’s arms all day.

Suzanna said she gets to bed about 3 in the morning and is back in the restaurant at 10. Vangelis gets to bed the same time. However, he has to return at 8 to get things going.

They have to make it in the three summer months. Just as Key West restaurants have to make it in the three month winter season. The difference is that Key West has locals to carry them during the off season. Not on Amorgos. Everything closes down. Most on the island have just enough to sustain themselves.

Vangelis and Suzanna have one of the top restaurants. Perhaps the top. They have operated the restaurant for 13 years. They do not own the property. They lease. They have yet to purchase their own home. A home remains too expensive for them.

Vangelis works another job in the off season. He and his brother operate a remodeling business.

Some one telephoned the ferry boat company. They still do not know if the boat will be running today. They will not know till the afternoon.

I really do not care. The only problem is similar to flying and a snow storm shutting down an airport for a day or two. There are not enough seats available for everyone on the first day’s boat out. I could end up staying on Amorgos for two or three additional days. Wonderful! Though I love Santorini, I will not be unhappy to get the additional time on Amorgos.

Enjoy your day!


Here I am sitting on the Greek isle of Amorgos and I will be writing about Germany and Hemingway Days today. Neither has anything to do with each other nor with Amorogos.

The reason the topics are what they are is that I did nothing yesterday. I spent several hours writing next week’s KONK Life column. Then laid around. In the sun, in bed. Period.

The next KONK Life column will be published thursday. The title: Germany…..Biggest Whore House In Europe. It is. Germany has become the sex discount capital of the world.

The thrust of the column has nothing to do with sex per se. It has to do with Germany’s pattern of failing those it initially claimed would be helped. The euro union is an example. All the countries going down the drain economically and socially. Germany pushed the euro union. Promised a new world. Easy money. An end to economic concerns. Fifteen or so years later, Germany is raking in the dollars while other countries are suffering big time.

Prostitution is another example. Germany legalized prostitution in 2002. It was a new day for the ladies of the night. Social acceptance, pensions, medical, etc. Eleven years later, the prostitutes are in dramatically worse shape. Germany on the other hand is thriving from their pain. Big time tax dollars are being collected on prostitution earnings. Germany has become the biggest pimp of all.

The bottom line is Germany is not to be trusted. They sell great up front, but do not produce for anyone but themselves in the end.

Hemingway Days. A big weekend the past few days in Key West. An annual event. Sorry I missed it.

Hemingway lived in Key West 10 years. Wrote some of his best novels there. Key West is proud to have been a part of his life.

Two events I especially enjoy. The Hemingway Look-A-Like Contest and the Bull Run.

Roughly 125 Hemingway look alikes compete to see who looks closest to the original. All white bearded, of course. All wandering around over the weekend in white shirt and pants, with a fire engine red beret on their heads and scarf belt around their waists.

The Bull Run is exciting. Replicated from The Sun Also Rises. The Key West bulls are cardboard machete.

Perhaps, I will be more active today. I do not know.

Enjoy your day!