Five Greek memories

Today I feel chatty. Here is a random Greece-based memory bouquet. To make it more challenging, stories shall be drabbles, of precisely 100 words.

I notice that posts with more words than photos often go unread, or at least unliked (since this and comments are the only proofs of somebody reading). I know, merely looking is so much easier. That’s why I must say I love those who read so much more.

Once posted, the feeling is that these words disappear into the same rosy hole (it’s rarely a black one with me) from where they have come.

Let’s see how a post with one scary(ish) animal and many memories will do.

A praying mantis in Lefkas. Photo: a © signature mmm production

I went to Greece – let’s see how many times: first twice by ferry from Trieste to Patras and from then:

  • for two weeks by Peugeot around the Peloponnese;
  • for one month by Peugeot around Crete (one of better months of my life, I wrote about it here).

After that conditions changed, hippie-style roaming was replaced by couple holiday, and I got to spend a mere one week every year on a different Greek island. We travelled there by charter plane and then rented a scooter to see the most of:

Seven times. The stories below are five. And my Greek war cry? Psomí, psarí, krasí! (Bread, fish, wine!)

1. The first memory is not so random. Dan at No Facilities talks of hitting things. He might have spurred this entire post.

I don’t think many people (okay, women) would take their car on a month around Crete in such a state.

Heating had to be on at all times, or the engine died. (No problem, outside was hotter.)

If it rained, electricity died. (No problem, it never rained.)

If the car wouldn’t start, you had to hit a special spot with a beer bottle. (No problem, beer was around at all times.)

Truth be told, I also had the king of Peugeots in the other car.

Alas: three days of Ierapetra happened, waiting for a new clutch.

For his Peugeot. Newer.

2. One on communication:

His name sounds like Journey, so we call him that.

He soon realises that Greek English is useful but even that isn’t really necessary. His Slovenian and gestures will do.

To the waiter he explains that he needs a smaller glass (gesture), not such a big one (gesture and frown). He gets it.

When we consider driving down a dry river-bed to a promising cove (no worries, his cousin had elevated my car floor with some rubber door-stoppers), he shows our destination on the map to some locals. Points at our tires. At the watch. Eye-brows questioning.

Reply: “Two hours.”

3. One on fishing:

Growing up next to Croatia means that you grow afraid of the sea police. They suppress no-permit boating, free camping, fishing guns. Greece seems like paradise in comparison.

We are on a beach in a bay, nobody around. Another thing that wouldn’t fly in packed Croatia. Our guys have just returned from some gun-fishing. If not that time, they surely catch something the next. Fish love them.

An approaching man is spotted. We panic. They try to bury their guns in the sand.

The man arrives and says: “Please, be careful in the sea. We fish with dynamite over there.”

4. On plenty of fish in the sea:

Then we have the fish.

We fry many. We skin the eels. Not a fan.

One time there is a huge, high-quality fish.

A problem: it is too big for our biggest pen.

What do we do? We go to the nearest restaurant, explain our problem and ask them if they would mind very much frying the fish for us. We will order other food and drink their beer. A considerable amount.

The mere thought of doing this in Croatia and observing the restaurant owner’s wrath and indignation at crazy Slovenians stealing their fish will crack me up every time.

5. Another example of how internet can light up your life:

Karpathos is not the most famous island. That’s why I visit Slovenian travel forum, searching for people who had been. Not so many. The enthusiasm of one matches my expectations.

A short exchange follows, ending with: “Do you wish to come over and view our pictures?”

We wish and they are a nice couple and we chat and they give us five envelopes or so with instructions.

Inside are photos for the nicest people they met.

They wish we visit them too.

So we plan around it. Most appear bashful, but happy. As are we: it’s an ultimate 3D game.

And for everyone who came this far, I’ve got three blog/site recommendations. I’ve discovered them recently and feel better off for this simple reason. They have got both, words and images. In each case I link to one of the posts that won me over.

The first one is heavily praised and rewarded Roads & Kingdoms, “a fulltime digital magazine” on food, politics, travel and culture. It happens rarely, but reading them I thought this would be a great thing to be a part of. To any potential collaborators they say that their stories are “a little different here, and if you can pick up on that difference, you’ll have a much better chance of success”. Isn’t that so. The first article that made me fall in love is about The Free State of Trieste. But every next one just deepened it.

There is a blog with every post ending in my raised eyebrows. It doesn’t happen often either. He meanders his tales in unsuspected directions and successfully blends facts, emotions, personality and skillz. The blog is called Are We There Yet? and my answer is “I hope we never get there because the travel is so cool”. The most recent post is set in deep snow and then something blue emerges.

The last one is a blog by a couple who have travelled around the world with no major setbacks and not a single plane delay. Some would say it was a coincidence but I’d say it’s their sunny disposition that did it. They are Jules Verne Times Two and their first post that attracted me was of course about Crete.

Happy reading and peeking!

15 Comments Add yours

  1. When I was a kid I used to love praying mantis. But then my dad told me that the female eats the head off the male after mating, which made me fear for what puberty had in store for me. In any case, your words more than made up for your choice of picture, and they make me want to go back to Greece asap (probably instead of going to Crotia, like we were planning to). Thank you for that, and for bunching us up with two great blogs! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hihi, Jules Verne, oh yes, I understand the puberty scare. To me they seem like aliens, in a way: scary because they are so effective. Well, you deserve to be included. As for Croatia, now I’m sorry because I made it sound so bad. 😦 Need to fix that. I practically grew up on the Croatian coast – we went to the same tiny village every August on Pelješac peninsula (it’s called Duba, if you go). I’m sure that it will be great if you go off season (and if you stick a bit more to the south ;).


      1. OK OK, we’ll give Croatia another chance. After all we did managed to avoid death by selfie stick while watching a Santorini sunset in August, so we’re no strangers to crowds 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan Antion says:

    Thanks for the recommendations. I just discovered Jules Verne Times Two earlier today 🙂

    The praying mantis isn’t too scary (unless you’re male and trying to start a family).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe, Dan, lucky in species and gender then. 😀 And you’re always welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This brings back my Greek memories 🙂 I’ll check out the blogs you referred to, though Jules Verne x2 was already open in my browser, was going to visit them anyway!! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad, SMSW, I like to help bringing back good memories. 🙂 I’m quite sure you led me to Are We There Yet? No? I think he came to comment on the graffiti via your post.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, he is familiar to me 🙂 I follow him, too. But it’s always good to be reminded to check someone’s posts out

        Liked by 1 person

  4. ostendnomad says:

    And… another informative article! Love to read and see your stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, Nomad, I’m so glad you’re reading and finding it worthwhile! 🙂 Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great Stories Manja. I have many Greek experiences too as you may have seen on the blog. I might reblog the whole series soon, it will keep people busy while I actually do the writing i Need to get on with!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Gavin. I had a look some time ago and read around your blog a bit, but for sure more people will do it if you reblog.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes, that’s my plan. I need to focus my attentions on my short story i’m trying to write

        Liked by 1 person

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