DAY 22

I am never going to get out of Mikonos!

The Greek gods are working against me.

First, I wanted to go to Fourni. No way. The boat to Fourni had been discontinued. I decided to stay in Mykonos a few extra days.

Tomorrow, I was planning on leaving for Amorgos. Someone told me there is a monastery worth seeing. The monks provide water and food to visitors through a hole. The monks never see nor speak to anyone from the moment they enter the monastery. Also, Amorgos is considered one of the prettier of the small islands.

I went down to get my boat ticket for Amorgos this morning. Down by the waterfront. I wanted to leave tomorrow. No boat to Amorgos today or tomorrow. Everything cancelled. Even planes. The weather.

Strong winds today. The kind we get in Key West when the water breaks against the White Street Pier and splashes 20-30 feet high. I was on the waterfront this morning. Ten feet from the water. Hitting the beach and shooting up and over all nearby. Including me.

I am becoming knowledgeable about Mykonos weather.

When I first arrived, it was hot and humid. No breeze at all. The last three days big winds. No humidity.

Some natives tell me that is the way the weather is this time of the year. Three days humid. Then three days of wind.

I also started hearing that today’s wind is unusual for June. It is September wind.

Who knows? I just want to leave Mykonos. I have been here too long. It is not my type place. Too touristy for me. Key West is mild by comparison. The flavor and grandeur for which Mykonos is known was in the 1960s and 1970s. Gone. Today’s players are wannabes to that life style.

A great place to visit for a few days and leave.

Wednesday is my scheduled departure day now.

Yesterday was Paradise Beach. The place I had been seeking. All my desires were satisfied. I saw it all! I was a little embarrassed. I never showed mine.

Stayed in last night again. Dined in the hotel’s dining room.

I have been eating Greek food for more than two weeks now. I yearned for something else. I enjoyed a huge portion of spaghetti bolognaise.

Christina is in charge of the dining room. She does a top notch job. Great service, great food and the right touch with personal amenities.

Christina is 35 years old. Looks 25. A short lovely blonde. Fair skinned. A single mother of a 4 year old boy.

I asked Christina where she works in the winter. Mykonos is a summer town. Closes down for the winter months. She says she can always find work somewhere in Mykonos in the off months.

A hard worker. A talented person. I wish her well.

The Greek election. Yesterday. I called it right. The euro supporters won. It was close. The euro people got 29 percent of the vote. The non-euros 26 per cent. Several other minor parties grabbed anywhere from 12 per cent of the vote downward.

Twenty nine per cent is not enough to control. A coalition is required. It is anticipated the winners will form the coalition with the party who got 12 per cent of the vote. Still not enough to make a majority. However, under Greek law the party receiving the largest number of votes automatically gets an additional 50 seats in the national legislature. That puts the euro people over the top. A crazy country!

Forget what you read in the papers and on TV today. This new government is not going to work. The Germans have already suggested they might ease some of the time payment dates. But that is it! The big hard dollar payments still remain. Greece will not be able to make them. The new government and the euro will fail. I give it three to six months.

To put it all in proper perspective, this election is not even a band aid. Some one took a rag and merely brushed the blood aside. A very temporary solution to an ongoing aggravating problem.

I noticed yesterday that many of the older Greek homes have what I thought was some religious design on each house. All alike. A bunch of small triangles set in a large square. The square sits on one of its points. There apparently is space behind the openings. I noticed the newer buildings did not have the design. My initial thought was that whatever it was was intended to keep evil spirits away.

I was wrong. The triangular openings were for doves.

At one time there were many white doves flying above Mykonos. Predatory birds discovered the doves and came in large numbers to feed upon them. This was many years ago. The citizens of Mykonos enjoyed and favored the doves. Ergo, as homes and buildings were constructed, these triangular openings became part of the construction. The doves could fly inside and evade the predator birds.

It must not have worked. I have seen no doves in my time here.

Terri White makes national news again! She was selected by GO Magazine as one of the 100 Women We Love. Take a look at the 6/15/12 edition of the magazine. A terrific pic of Terri and a concise litany leading to her success.

I survived yesterday’s hit and run. Woke this morning with a swelling half the size of as golf ball on my arm. No pain.

I have a pretty good tan. The sun is strong in the Greek isles. Much stronger than Key West. Between walking around and a bit of sun bathing, I am getting dark. Very dark.

I have only shaved once in the four weeks I have been gone. I look pretty bad. I apologized to one woman I met for having such a sloppy growth. She thought it looked sexy. I may never shave again. I wonder how I will look if I do not shave the balance of this trip. Another three weeks.

Enjoy your day!

DAY 21

Today could be the most significant day in history since the close of World War II. The Greek elections are being held.

The issue boils down to whether the Greeks want to continue operating with the euro as money or would they prefer a return to the drachma. I have talked with many since I arrived in Greece. I am getting divergent opinions.

Yes, I saw grown men and women spit on the ground when they heard Merkle’s name at a protest rally in Athens. That is not all of it however. I have found the bankers and very affluent support continuing with the euros. Why not. They are doing terrific under it. Making money!.

Then there are the small businessmen. They are struggling. They want a return to the drachma like yesterday. They also want out of the European Union.

Then come the people. The Jims and Janes on the streets. Those going to work every day to put food on the table. They feel the oppression of the euro. But I suspect they will not vote in large numbers. They claim it is too late. The Mafia is controlling everything.

I find it surprising that people still revert to the Italian wrongdoers of old to blame. I think they do not really mean Mafia per se. What I sense is that they believe that government has been bought by big business. Believing that, I suspect most will not vote. Simply because they believe their votes will mean nothing. The banks and big business will control in the end no matter who wins.

Sense a similarity with the USA?

Germany could ease the pressure. Germany is making money with the euro. Germany has become in effect the banker for the rest of the euro nations. Which includes Greece.

Germans as a people tend to be anal. Black and white. By the book. Greeks on the other hand go with the flow. They take everything in stride. Are not as serious about things as they probably should be. Like money.

Germany is in a position of power. The third time they have so been in less than 100 years. The Kaiser in 1914 and Hitler in l939 were two instances. Germany felt it was omnipotent. Two world wars resulted.

This Germany/Greece thing is a war that is erupting. Except this time it is with money instead of bullets. Each can have a devastating effect. This euro thing can result in a world wide recession of a sort never before experienced.

I have a suspicion. It is based on what I have experienced and read over the past three weeks. I believe the euro people will win. Why? Because they will vote. They are doing well as indicated hereinbefore under the euro. The people on the street appear to have already given up. They will not turn out in the numbers necessary to throw out the euro and return to the drachma.

I cannot wait till later tonight to see if I have called this correctly.

The trip caught up with me yesterday. I have been at this three weeks. All of a sudden I was tired. Dead tired.

I walked into town and had lunch. Something I have not done since arriving. I then sat in the shade at the sidewalk cafe where I had lunched and watched the world walk by.

Eventually, I got back to my hotel. And my bed. I slept the afternoon away.

I was still tired when I woke. Opted to remain at my hotel and dine in its dining room. Glad I did. A great meal! The service unusually spectacular. I am staying at a small hotel. I have gotten to know everyone. This was the first time they had the opportunity to show me what they could do. They wanted to show me, to please me.

And please me they did! I won’t go through all the specifics, except to relate that the meal was heavy with tomatoes, olives, cheeses and oil. Dessert was a Greek chremboule. Two gins. Beefeater. One of the few places in Mykonos that stocks it. And a shot of something after dinner on the house.

I could not thank them enough.

I was up and out early this morning. Needed a manicure and pedicure desperately. The last ones were more than 3 weeks ago.

I had to walk up the highway about a quarter of a mile. A beautiful salon for nails and massages in a small strip mall. I was their first customer. Everyone sitting around. Ergo, I had three ladies working on me at one time. One on the toes and the other two each had a hand a piece.

A good job! I was pleased.

I asked them if they had voted. They said no. I asked if they were going to vote. They said no. Why, I asked. Mafia!

Not a bright response, but that is the way it is. Again, I have heard that same response many times over the past three weeks.

Now for the fun part of this morning.

I got hit by a car.

There are no sidewalks. The driving lanes are narrow. Drivers speed constantly. The only place for pedestrian traffic is on the edges of the road.

I was in an area that had a three foot stone wall running on both sides of the highway. Between the road edge and the wall was two feet. No more.

I was casually walking down the road against traffic. Staying in my little two feet. All of a sudden this guy came around a curve. There was no oncoming traffic. He had a good fifty feet after the curve to see me. He never tried to avoid me. He clipped my right arm with his passenger door mirror. I went flying over the wall. I looked up to see the car speed away. The driver had to feel the impact and hear its sound. The thud was loud.

I was concerned. The last thing I want is to be sick in a foreign country. There was no one around who saw or could help me. I eventually got up. My right arm beneath the elbow was sore. As was the right side of my neck.

I walked back to my hotel with no difficulty. It has been about two hours since the event and all I am experiencing is pain in the two areas I complained about. I lucked out.

So far on this trip I have survived three earthquakes and one auto accident.

I still have three weeks to go.

A beach day again today. Paradise Beach. The one two days ago was Super Paradise Beach. Two separate beaches. One old, one new. I am going to the older one today.

Enjoy your day! And be careful as you walk.

DAY 20

Yesterday was one terrific day!

I went to a great beach during the day and an extremely good restaurant in the evening.

The beach Super Paradise Beach.

My day began with the drive to the beach in a rented car. An experience.

Mykonos is hills. Up and down. The beach about 15 miles of driving to reach. The usual narrow roads, accidents waiting to happen, sharp curves, etc. The last mile of the drive was the worst and strangest I have ever experienced.

The last mile…..the phrase itself is the connotation I seek to convey. The last mile is straight down. With a couple of tiny curves. When I say straight down I mean that. It was like the first drop on a large roller coaster. I thought the back end was going to flip over forward. And the car and I in a serious accident. The car was not made for such a steep decline. The car’s center of gravity would not be able to handle it.

I was concerned. With God as my co-pilot however, I made it to the bottom.

The trip was worth it. In front of me a beautiful parking lot and huge building. Super Paradise!

As I was turning the car off, I noticed the gas tank was on empty. I suddenly realized I had never put gas in the car. When I received it, it had half a tank. It was gone! When I ran out going back up the hill, and I would run out, the car would slide back down or whatever.

I had no recollection of having seen a gas station in my 15 mile drive. In fact, I had no recollection of ever having seen a gas station in Mykonos.

The solutoion was simple. I was on vacation. A rented vehicle out of gas was not my concern. It was the rental company’s. I left Super Paradise Beach several hours later by cab. When I got to my room, I telephoned the owner. A small rental company. The car was due back today.

I expalined the problem to him. Told him I did not want to run around getting a gallon of gas, going back to the car, etc. I aknowledged it was my fault. What could we do?

A gentleman. He said you have to return the car with the same amount of gas as when you took it. I said I knew. If it is empty, you owe me half of a tank. A tank full is 60 euros. I will charge you 25 euros. A good deal! I expectred get screwed on the pick up and return portion, however. He explained he had to get gasoline, have someone drive him to the car, and then he had to drive it back. Time and people. It was coming. I could sesne it. At least 50 euros more. That will cost you an additional 10 euros, he said.

A deal.

That is how the car problem was resolved.

You have to see Super Paradise Beach. Super it is!

I have never seen anything to compare to it.

A large semi circular beach. Clean sand. Clear water. 280 chairs. 140 beach umbrellas. Great lounging chairs. Like lying on a mattress.

A bar. Huge. Egg shaped. One of the biggest I have ever seen. A large dining area to the left. Outside. A food concession area. Self service. All kinds of great food. Provided in the automat fashion of old. Lift the glass door and take out what you like. To the right of the bar on a high podium of sorts, the DJ. All under a concreete roof.

Amazing! A money maker without question! Super Paradise goes till 4 in the morning.

We need a place like this in Key West. I have it all figured out. Don Manaher of Don’s Place to run it. He has the genius. Take the quiet end of Smathers Beach. Close it off. Build a similar but smaller facility. Clothing optional. A gold mine!

An example of gold mine is the $15 per two chairs charged for the lounges. Do the math. A gold mine in itself. Of course, the place is not full every day.

I finally found a topless beach. About 75 per cent of the women. All ages. Coupled with thong bottoms. A fantasy come true.

My search for total nudity also satisfied. Though I am not certain satisfied is the correct description.

A young mother was with her two children. A girl about 3 and a boy about 1. Both naked. A pervet I am not. However, that is the closest I have come to total nudity on this trip.

I tell you about this mother and her children for a special reason. Follow me.

I happened to look out into the water. There was Mom standing waist deep. One breast exposed. Junior enjoying his lunch.

Later I happened to turn over on my lounge. Who was on the lounge directly behind me? Mom and the two kids. Junior was still eating. Mom decided the meal was over. She took her fingers and gently removed her nipple from his mouth. He was not finished. He would have none of stopping. With one set of fingers, he grabbed onto the nipple and shoved it back in his mouth. And chomped away till he was done. Junior was calling the shots in this regard. Not his mother.

A couple of months ago I reported on my internet show of a breast feeding lawsuit recently resolved. The siituation giivng rise to the lawsuit occurred somewhere in the north east. Perhaps Vermont or New Hampshire. A young mom was seated on a regional jet waiting for take off. Her child was hungry. She was breat feeding the child. The attendant said you will have to stop…..some of the other passengers might be offended. The woman refused and she and baby were removed from the plane.

This happened in 2008. The mother sued. The case recently settled. The settlement included a written apology from the regional carrier. A written apology also from the CEO of the big airline. And an undisclosed amount of money. The CEO said in his letter of apology that his airline was breast feeding friendly and that all mothers should be so aware. Come breast feed your child on one of our planes any time!

As it should be.

I played tourist. Enjoyed a couple of pina coladas while lying in the shade of the straw umbrella over my lounge. Later in the day, I was hungry. Tried out the food place described earlier. The food a winner!

I had grape leaves stuffed with rice and big white beans. The big white beans a separate dish.

I have gotten into grape leaves on this trip big time. The beans looked good in their glass cage. Big ones. Covered in an appealing red sauce. So I went for the beans also!

The beans a winner! Tender. It was the sauce however that made them so good. A red sauce with a lot of oil mixed in. Crushed basil leaves and I do not know what else thrown in. The sauce was so good that after I finished, I took bread and wiped the dish clean.

I left before 5. The partying starts at 5. Someday perhaps.

Several people told me to eat at Nikos. A Greek restaurant. Old. It is tiny and in the midst of the big ones on the Chora waterfront. I tried Nikos last night. Superb!

I enjoy lamb shank. The best lamb shank in Key West is served at La Trattoria. Comes standing up buried in a base of gnocci.

Last night’s lamb shank came buried in greens cooked in a lemon sauce. Equal to La Trattoruia. I was thrilled with the meal!

Sorry to have been a little long today. Good things take time to tell.

One more item. D 15 was the story of my ill fated attempt to climb the volcano. It is being reprinted in next week’s KONK Life. Ask your friends to read it. I think its funny.

Enjoy your day!