Archive for September, 2009

Everything but the kitchen sink

9-26

I woke up early for breakfast – I mean information table – at Creta Princess. Daniel and I actually made the 7:00 bus! We each had like 3 brekkies and made 14 euros which is better than my last time there. We went back to camp and napped. πŸ˜€ Nora came back early from K1 because she was sick, so John (and Mik) went to Chania to ‘help’ at the kiosk. They sat on the stairs while Tanja had a busy shift all by herself… Anyway, Nora came back to camp and felt a lot better by that point, so she helped us with ‘camp inventory.’ Thing is, John gave us “count everything” as our instructions. Nothing more! So Daniel and I figured that meant at least the stock tent, so we (including Nora) pulled everything out of there. It was practically a party! We found kids hats, ‘magical’ looking t shirts, post cards and stickers that we’ll ask John if we can keep (answer: yes). We found markers and decorated the toilet door with a ‘hippie’ theme. You know, peace, love, guitars, marijuana, and turtles! We spent 45 minutes playing, basically.

Tanja showed up at camp after K1 understandably annoyed. Rather than stay at camp Daniel, Nora and I went to Chania early. We all got tired on the bus there though and John/Mel were tired at the end of their kiosk shift, so we went out for caffeine/dinner . Nora took the 6:30 bus to Heraklion to see Vasilis and go to the Archaeological Museum today and tomorrow. Daniel and I made 44 euros in the first 30 minutes! But then things slowed down… A lot. I saw a guy go by twice with a rather boxy instrument case and I couldn’t figure out what it was. I found out later. Highlight of the night: street music! A local gypsy kid (one of the nice ones) played his bongo drum thing and a guy played BAGPIPES. That’s what was in the case! It wasn’t amazing or anyting but it was unusual and fun to listen to. I even gave them change! That’s pretty impressive.

9-27

12:30 – Today is the last day the kiosk is open and I’m lucky enough to have K1, my favorite shift. Since Creta Princess yesterday was the last it/ss, we brought all the stock from the bag to the kiosk and set it up here. We’ve talked to 11 people and made 46 euros so far. Not bad! And Mel is rolling the small change collected all summer in the donation jar, which is over 40. Tanja and Demetri showed up a while ago with a sad story. The dog that followed Mel down the whole beach on morning survey yesterday followed Tanja today, and she fell in love. By a very convoluted journey involving a call to Vasilis to translate Greek, Tanja took her dog to the pound here in Chania. Goodness, there’s a Greek pound?! Actually it’s the only one in Crete. And it’s full. They receive no money so they have minimal equipment and staff. Tanja was appalled and is trying to plot a way to get Little Tanja back to Switzerland with her. [Conclusion: you need shots for the dog at least 21 days in advance to take a dog to Switzerland, among other hoops to jump through. Tanja may come back next summer to volunteer for the Dogs of Chania.]

Later – I went for a lunch crepe and Demetri saw me on his way to exchange the donation jar change into bills. The thing is, today is Sunday so the bnks are closed. He asked at a couple kiosk but nobody wants 5 euros in 5 cent pieces. He followed me to the bus stop to ask there and the teller got so excited! I guess she’d run out of 5, 10 and 20 cent coins. It was a perfect swap except we held up the line. Then I went home and cooked spaghetti and mashed potatoes for 7 people, by myself, without a recipe! Yup, I’m all growed up.

9-28

The sea was so rough and high that there was hardly any beach to partol this morning. When Tanja and I got back to camp there were 4 imported men from the Rethymno camp: 2 to help dismantle the kiosk and 2 to destroy, er, dismantle, the camp. Demetri left around 11 with his huge-ass luggage, and if I hadn’t been working I would’ve been sad. By 1 pretty much everything was done so I skipped off with Tanja to get her turtle tattoo. It looks so nice! I went back to camp before her and helped continue the cleaning and packing. Nate, a leader from Reth, got bored and made balls on strings, a self explanatory toy. It takes coordination to be good at it, but I could do one trick! That’s all though. Then since we had over 150 euros left in the kitty, we all went to Bossa for dinner. I sat next to Bondi the Hungarian and Olly the Kiwi (New Zealand!) and they were both funny/very entertaining. Hungarian accents are very cool, in case you didn’t know. After dinner we had a real fire at camp! John broke the rules since he had leader friends over. I stayed up til 1:30 pretty much just talking to Olly. Nora thought he was “puttin’ the mac on Mac Daddy” but when she and Daniel listened in, they were disappointed. Olly lives 45 minutes away from where LOTR was filmed. I did not reveal my secret identity as Gollem…

9-29

I woke up to the sound of men talking. There are so many of those at camp! Us womenfolk were actually outnumbered. Anyway, everyone pitched in to finally finish dismantling camp. They took (literally) everything but the kitchen sink back to Reth or put it away in storage somewhere. They even took the bathroom sink! With no roof over our kitchen, we coud see the walls and supports looked like monkey bars. At least, that’s what I saw. With McKenna and 4 active men armed with this observation, what do you think we did next? We took pictures hanging upside down! Basti (German dude) took pictures with everyone’s camera, except mine. So we all had to climb up again… It was quite fun.

I took a long time filling out my volunteer review form, handed it in and I was done with my Archelon duties. As of that point I was just a camper in Gerani. When John had finally packed up all his stuffl we said goodbye and he went to Reth with everyone. That left just 5 of us in the bare camp. Daniel, Nora and I went for a swim, had a picknic then went swimming agian. It was very relaxing. All of us met in Platainas for dinner (no kitchen = no cooking!) then we walked back to camp for another fire. This one did not last as long because we were still tired from the night before. Nora already packed her tent so she, Daniel and I slept out on the beach, usually a big no-no for volunteers, which we are not anymore. The sand was comfy but cold. I did not try to cuddle in my sleep. Not that anyone has admitted, anyway.

9-30

We woke up with Nora to have our last breakfast together and say goodbye. Might I add that we have one cup and that’s it for cutlery/plates/stuff? Luckily I have a spoon in my pocket knife and we made bowls from water bottles. Ingenuitive we are. Absentminded am I. The top was somewhat unscrewed when I poured the milk into my makeshift bowl. >.< Whoops! Anyway, I walked Nora to the bus stop. Us 18 yr old American girls gotta stick together. I’ll see her in Athens and later in Boston, so it wasn’t as sad a goodbye as it could’ve been. Then I went back to camp, packed up my stuff and took the bus to Chania with Tanja who is also going to Heraklion. I hope Daniel and Mel enjoy having the camp to themselves today.

On the way to Chania Vasilis texted Tanja and said he has class from 1-8. Well damn! That meant there was no hurry anymore. I went into the town to cash checks, say goodbye to Angelo, Demetri and Artwork Guy, and buy my last Chanian gyro. I slept most of the way to Heraklion. Between Tanja and me we have 5 big bags of luggage so we looked around for a locker area in the fancy bus station. (Perhaps it’s only fancy by comparison to the Chania one that is SHIT.) A sign said ‘left luggage’ which sounded like a lost and found, but the German translation said it was a place you could drop your stuff off to pick up later. Thank God! We had a lot of time to kill so we took a bus to Knossos, had a snack and looked around for a bit. I was impressed with the drainage system of the palace but there wasn’t much else to see. One of the signs said ‘Gaming Board’ and described an ancient board game that they played there. Tanja goes, “oh, here? No. They hide it!” That pretty much sums up Knossos, information about things that were there. We took a break in the shade and random peacocks showed up! I was fascinated for a long time. They like pumpkin seeds, by the way. πŸ˜€

I nearly fell asleep on the bus back to the station and it’s only a 20-25 minute ride. The only thing left to do is wait for Vasilis to finish class then we go back to his flat for a REAL SHOWER and a couch for a bed. Tomorrow I wander around Heraklion all day and get a ferry at nine at night to Pyraeus, the port in Athens. At that point I’ll have to find a youth hostel then I’ll explore Athens!

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Nose Piercing! (Not mine…)

9-24
On HL with Tanja we actually had TURTLE things happen on morning survey! That hasn’t happened in a while. One of the nests really close to camp hatched and we thought an unmarked one nearby hatched too… But we weren’t sure, so Tanja texted John about it at a decent hour and he said he’d check it out. We had breakfast back at camp then I walked to the beach to see what John thought of the nest. I couldn’t find John at the nest, so I wandered for a bit and eventually he showed up holding a hatchling. I was so excited! But apparently we’d missed at least 6 tracks going to the back of the beach. It took this hatchling forever to get carried out to sea. He had problems climbing the rocks and one time he got stuck on his back. I was jumping up and down whispering “get up!” and eventually John said, “alright then, turn him over.” Poor little thing, once he was right side up he had to take on WAVES. He was washed back at least 5 times before the right combination whisked him away. This was the second hatchling John had found so we went back to look for the other 4 or so. John said the one he just found was headed for camp! He’d gone through the fence and everything. These babies went a REALLY far piece to get to the wrong place. And what a place it was. I had taken off my sneakers so I wouldn’t get then wet, but the hatchlings had traveled to the disgusting abandoned lot next to a hotel. There were used condoms, pieces of broken glass, piles of dog doo and sharp briars all over the place! So I walked very carefully when searching for a hatchling. John said “so that one makes 2 that I’ve found. Ooh, 3!” He scooped up the very camouflaged baby and put it in his shirt. I was just getting jealous of John for getting to hold a turtle (it’s only allowed when the hatchlings get so far away from the beach that there’s no sand to pick them up with) when he said “right, I’ve got to get to K1 so you take this one.” Glee! I kinda felt like he was dumping the kid/responsibility on me, but in this case it was awesome! My turtle. Just mine. I carried him to the beach, shaded him until he got to the water and watched him swim away. πŸ™‚ Just yesterday at the table we were comparing how many turtles we’d seen and I had the lowest number: 1. After my turtle was off on his own I went back to look for more and Tanja and Demetri showed up. Quite quickly Tanja found another! He was much weaker on his walk to the sea and every time he rested to catch his breath Demitri would say “oh no!!! Is he dead?!” Silly alarmist, look at him breathe! This was the last turtle we found, though we kept searching for 45 minutes. The feeling of failure barely exceeded the elation of seeing more turtles before I leave. I took a well deserved post morning survey nap, until I woke up to a conversation about… *drumroll*

Porn! Apparently Popcorn Man likes Demetri enough to share his porn from his phone with him. Last week’s was very disturbing but yesterday’s was normal. Apparently. “She was just taking her clothes off!” was actually the comment I woke up to. Then Daniel said “just say NO!” in his Swedish accent. It’s sad that Popcorn Man isn’t as wholesome as we thought. Oh well.

Once awake, I painted nest cages in my bikini because John hid my smock when he ‘cleaned up’ for the founder’s visit. I was playing music and singing while Nora laid out in the sun when tourists wandered into camp. “We want to see the turtles,” said the lead Swede. I corrected him that we don’t keep turtles here, they’re endangered. They looked at our camp like it was a zoo exhibit then lost interest and left. McKenna in a bikini is less interesting than a sea turtle…? Thank God.

Nora and I went to Bossa for snacks/internet and the black and white teenage cat (M.J. – Michael Jackson) was so friendly! He sat in Nora’s lap the whole time, possibly because she matched him? Then we went to a very good K3: stimulating conversation, a couple people to sell t shirts to, wonderful gyros and something to look forward to! Movie Night wasn’t going to go exactly as we planned because Mel couldn’t download LOTR, but Demetri found pirated movies for 5 euros. We knew “The Knights of Bloodsteel” would be a horrible LOTR knockoff, but we also knew we’d enjoy making fun of it.

K3 fairly flew by. I’ve been trying to remember Spanish and every so often I’d shout “aranas!” or “cuando!” as I remembered a word I haven’t used for over a year. As we got on the bus I heard real Spaniards talking! So I eavesdropped as long as I could. That was exciting in itself. Then we got to camp and everyone (except John since Mik was coming into town) piled into Demetri’s tent. We had movie snacks, many laughs, and inadvertent cuddling. Then we began to fall asleep… Demetri was the first but Daniel and I tied for second. I woke up to a camera flash. Thanks Nora! Tanja went to sleep and the rest of us continued ‘watching.’ Eventually it was after 1 and just Nora, me, Daniel and Demetri were left. The laptop ran out of battery and we all fell asleep It truly was a sleepover. At 5 Nora woke up to go to the toilet and Daniel thought she was going back to her tent so he got his stuff together too. I woke up enough to realize that would leave me alone with Demetri in his tent, so I went to bed too. Nora came back but we’d all left… So she did too. The last thing I heard from Demetri was “aw, now I’m alone!”

I don’t think I could even give a simple plot synopsis of that movie.

9-25
Because there’s no communication in camp, nobody *cough John cough* told me that MR catches the 7:00 bus now. I woke John up 30 minutes early and he said “we’re getting the 7!” Well damn. Rather than falling back into a deep sleep in my tent, I curled up in the extra sleeping bag on the sunbed. At 6:45 John went to my tent and said, “McKenna… McKenna. McKENNA?” I popped up from the sunbed and he goes, “oh!” Sneaky, sleepy Kenna. Then we hauled ass to the bus stop in case it was early, only to wait 45 minutes for the next one. Pfffft! As John put it, “bloody Greek buses.” So as not to get baked in the sun by the end of the beach, we booked it the whole way. I kept reminding him, “you have long legs!” and running to catch up, but we finished in 1 hour 10 minutes. Phew! That’s how long it takes John by himself so “short legs” didn’t slow him down any. /flex

No nap + only 4.5 hours of sleep… I needed a coke before K2. I took the first 15 minutes off to go with Nora to get her nose pierced. It looks good! I thanked her for letting me live vicariously through her since that’s not a body part I’d consider piercing. (Mom: now is when you breathe a sigh of relief.) K2 was boring until we saw Harry! I just glimpsed his head above the calm water. That bumps my turtle count up to 5. πŸ™‚

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Boring days

9-20

We saw Naked Man again today on MR. Then I accomplished nothing all day until K3! What a lazy day, blech. Daniel and I got to kiosk a bit early and we took over for John who did K2 by himself. I talked to more American military men when I got dinner and one said “if you need anything just ask one of us. We all have the same haircut.” Aww! πŸ™‚ There was a random ‘Under 20 Water Polo Opening Ceremony” or something around the corner from us and we could see some dancers. Highlight of the night today: fireworks over the harbor! Perhaps I’m easily amused by shiny fire in the sky…

9-21

Before K1 with Tanja we got chocolate/banana crepes and drinks. 9 days before I leave Chania I found the best apple juice that I’ve ever tasted! Gah. (I just noticed one of these horses at the harbor is the equine equivalent of a dachshund.)Β  German lesson: marmot is ‘mormotier’ in normal German and ‘momga’ in Swiss German.Β  My hip popped so loudly when I reached down to pick something up and Tanja said “hah, you’re getting old!” To which I replied, “no I wasn’t born in 1987!” Tanja said, “much better than 1919! Er…” She meant 1990 but English is not her mother tongue and she gets confused sometimes. Perhaps that’s a YHTBT moment…

The rest of the day went by quickly. Tanja and I had lunch, shopped for gifts, and waited for ever for a very full bus. Back in Gerani I shopped for dinner, talked online to friends/family then went back to camp to cook for 5 people! Grilled cheeses and fruit salad ftw. Then I cleaned up and went to bed!

9-22

Today I had the same breakfast as yesterday. Everyone should be VERY jealous. And now I have K1 with Demetri, during which we were interviewed by a “freelance writer.” Hopefully all of our facts were accurate…

After kiosk I finally went to the Market. It’s kinda like Faneul Hall but with whole pigs hanging upside down between bakeries and tourist shops. I bought nice gifts for people then went back home (camp, that is). I cleaned a nest cage (meaning I stripped all the rust off) and put primer on 5 of them then helped Demetri with dinner. Only 4 people were at dinner (me, Demetri, Tanja and Nora) and we expounded upon an inside joke. We have our own Fellowship of the Ring and as crazy, bored teenagers (most of us, anyway) we took pictures as our characters. πŸ˜› I was Gollem. Thursday night we are all getting in Demetri’s HUGE tent to have a movie night. What’s the movie, you ask? LOTR!

9-23

While I was doing laundry today, the founder of Archelon and Maria came into camp. He stayed for about an hour and talked with us, then individually thanked us for our work on this project. I got two handshakes from him! I guess he’s only famous to folks in our circle… Then a tourist wandered into camp while I was shaving my legs in a bucket. Now, this is acceptable behavior on my part since I’m living in a camp with a wooden shower and NO hot water. But to an outsider, I must have looked a bit, ‘unconventional,’ and he quickly made his way back to the road. Yeah, keep runnin’!

Since it’s my day off and I couldn’t just stay at camp all day, I took a bus to Agia Marina (between Gerani and Chania) and shopped on the walk back. I was listening to my ipod and singing to myself and a man enthusiastically said “sing higher!” which I think meant sing louder. Heehee, he appreciated my voice! *blush* I bought a vegitarian gyro from a street vendor and he asked why I don’t eat meat. I said the animals aren’t treated well and they’re bad for the environment. He thought for a while then said, “maybe they’re not.” Hah! Silly man creates his own reality.

Exerp from my email to my mother that others might find interesting:

Thursday: MOVIE NIGHT! We’re all reeeeeeeeeally excited about it. Mel is going to download LOTR (Lord of the Rings) on her laptop and we’re going to have a sleepover (not really, we’ll go back to our own tents eventually) in Demitri’s HUGE tent! Friday: I might (I say ‘might’ so as not to get my hopes up too high since I haven’t confirmed it yet) get to ride horses on the beach at sunset in Georgiopoulis! Saturday: Creta Princess information table. That sounds boring, but that’s the five star hotel that gives us breakfast! I kinda bribed John to give me this shift…. Sunday: Actually nothing happens that day. K1 and I cook. >.< Monday: I’m going with Tanja to get her tattoo of a sea turtle! I know you won’t approve of me being in a tattoo parlor (gasp!) but I’m looking forward to it. Mel is getting another piercing as well. And Nora is getting her nose pierced some time! I bet you’re right about to look on facebook again and zoom in on my nose in the pictures I put up……… Haha don’t worry. And our camp will be dismantled and we won’t have cookwear, so we’re going out to eat at Bossa! What a treat. Tuesday: nothing this day either… Just morning survey and dismantling the camp. Wednesday: going to Heraklion to see Knossos with Tanja and stay with Vasilis. Thursday: It’s Vasilis’s birthday! And I’ll spend the day wandering (carefully) around Heraklion. That night I’ll take a ferry to Pireaus (the port of Athens). Friday-Sunday: sightseeing in Athens. But where will I sleep?!?! I reeeeeeeeeally want to stay with a Southerner for free. Could you maybe ask Julie today at hippotherapy….? And Tuesday morning I fly home. I don’t actually get home until Wednesday night. Time travel is confusing!

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My Secret Love of Passion

Since I don’t explain the title of this post in the text, I’ll do so here. It’s a t shirt I saw while people watching at kiosk. What it means, nobody knows…

9-17

I had K1 with Mel and I used all four hours to plan my last 6 days in Greece. At one point I had my nose buried in my Greek Islands Travel Guide or whatever and squealed loudly. Mel asked what was so exciting and I said “there’s a numismatic museum in Athens! Er, I collect coins…” What a dorky thing to get so excited about. πŸ˜› JUST as I finished my mildly illegal research and whipped out my very illegal suduko puzzle, John walked up and said “that’s not kiosk work, is it?” Oops, busted! And this is the day I was going to ask for a night off for Georgiopoulis… Maybe tomorrow.

After kiosk I was starving and fell upon the first gyro place on the way to the bus station. I accidentally ordered a combo (gyro, fries and a coke – Greek fast food!) and again was met with “NO MEAT?! Vegitarian? Ok…” The waiter called me princess and pulled out the chair for me. Then 5 minutes later he came back, saw most of the food was already down the hatch and said “You were hungry!” He stayed and talked to me longer (even though I had my book out) and it would’ve been a nice conversation if it didn’t require at least one repetition per comment. Then he asked me out for a drink and I politely declined. He left me to my book after that. I paid for my meal and was about to cross the street when the waiter came out with my jacket and put it on me. Aww. πŸ™‚

Immediately across the street is an Archeological Museum that I’ve passes a million times, but today I went inside. The 2 euro entry fee was worth it! Some of the displays weren’t published yet so there were things I couldn’t take pictures of, but I got over 50 pics of everything else. As soon as people were able to make pots, they began to decorate them. I think that says a lot about humanity – we like pretty things! Among a museum full of things, I saw ancient gaming dice, safety pins, toy cows, grave markers, headphones (ok, I don’t know what it really was but it looked just like headphones), oil lamps, and tweezers. I was most impressed with ancient bronze age tweezers! Yet again, humanity likes pretty things. Then I visited a Catholic church where I lit a candle for Annie and chatted with Jesus. Next door is a folklore museum that I’ve been intrigued about for a long time, so I finally went there too. That was NOT worth the 2 euros! I felt like I’d payed to tour somebody’s grandmother’s attic. After all this tourism, I went back to camp for ‘cooking.’ We just made a salad and had leftovers. Nice dinner that wasn’t stressful to make.

9-16 addition

On the way to the bus stop we saw Special John. I waved and he came up to us. He held out his hand and grabbed mine for a handshake…? No! He pulled me in a kissed me sloppily on the cheek! He left a slobber mark which I promptly wiped on Tanja. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew!!!

9-18 Swish German

Two, er, ‘interesting,’ things happened on HL this morning, neither involving turtles. Most of the way down the beach Christina and I noticed a man running towards us. Now, usually that is not noteworthy, but has he got closer we noticed a certain lack of clothing. He ran past us grinning and we continued on our way. Then he turned around and ran in front of us. At our next nest we saw his pile of stuff on the sand and he was rummaging through his things. We considered just glancing in the shades to see if there werer tracks but some of the nest shades were down. One was right next to the naked man, in fact. I don’t know how I drew the short straw but I began fixing that one hastily and he said “small carettas?” Me: glances at face, “Yup.” Naked Man: “September?” Me: glances at sky while thinking, “Yes.” Naked Man: “August September?” Me: thinks while staring at the ground, “Uh-huh.” Then Christina and I practically ran away. And she’s French so it’s not just me being an American prude!

Later we saw smoke rising across the road. I asked if it looked on purpose and we went to investigate. On the side of a hill some person (read: idiot) set fire to a bunch of trash. Every so often something would explode. We called John to ask what to do and he said tell someone in Maleme, at the end of the beach. We did but theyΒ  were not at all concerned.Β  I haven’t heard about any fires raging through Maleme so I guess it burned itself out…

I’ve learned how to nap while here. It’s a wonderful thing. After my post morning survey nap I showered, did laundry and went into Chania with Tanja for K2. I talked to EIGHT Americans, which was nice. The one New Yorker thought the turtles came back to sit on the nest… she obviously slept through a few too many biology classes. At one point Tanja said “I’m tired of speaking English.” And Swiss Germans showed up! She was very happy because they were only the 3rd ones she’d talked to in 7 weeks. After this I taught Tanja to make bracelets and Nora showed up for K3. John was her shift partner so I threw all of the materials into my bag so as not to get reprimanded again. He came up the back way (sneaky John, but not sneaky enough!) and I noticed I left one bundle of hemp out. I veeeery sneakily shoved it in my bag and nobody noticed. πŸ˜€ /cheer. Tanja and I waited at the bus stop for 30 minutes and in that time there was a big commotion about someone stealing something from a woman’s purse… Or so I gathered. The whole dispute went on in Greek. >.< But the guy that got caught nearly cried and kept saying “no problem!!!” over and over again. They let him go out of pity.

9-19 “I need more colors in my life!” ~T

I had a wonderful lie in (translation: slept in) until 8:30 for K1 with Tanja. I had a note from her on my tent saying she was going to the excavation on MR and she would meet me at Chania. Little did I know she saw 29 hatchlings!!! I’m so jealous. And she talked to like seven Swiss Germans during the kiosk shift, so today was a very good day for her. A couple of days ago she found a Finnish guy’s phone on the beach and yesterday she returned it. That guy and his family and friends came to the kiosk today! Kristian Bjork (Finnish guy) is 30 and we both have a wee crush on him. I’ll spare you the details of his perfection… But his wife was really nice and cool too and he had ADORABLE children! Little blonde ones. The 2 month old girl was hidden under the boy in the stroller. Sneaky people.

Because there has been so much German spoken around me, I’ve started watching Tanja and listening to figure out the German. I can understand a fair bit and when I repeat to her the German words I hear, she always laughs. Apparently she’s not making fun of me; my American accent in German is really cute. πŸ™‚

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Can you drink them?

To see new pictures of my trip, click here!

McKenna in the Gorge

McKenna in the Gorge

9-12 Elefonisi

This morning played out exactly as my last day off except for one crucial point: the bus to Elefonisi stopped for me! Scenic Greece is really pretty.Β  (The most beautiful thing I saw on the way there was a horse in someone’s yard. πŸ™‚ ) I am pretty certain I saw a kri kri on the side of a mountain, too. Kri kris are an endangered goat native to Crete, in case you didn’t know. Going through the mountains was pretty scary and sickening though. Frequently there was a sharp drop just next to the road, and it was so curvy I nearly got sick. An English man close to me had a copy of “The Times” so when we got off the bus I asked him if he was done with it. He said yes and I caught up on Friday’s news! Elefonisi was quite windy which made it hard to read a newspaper. I sat in the sun and read my book for a long time, then remembered Tanja told me to go behind the island and snorkel. I crossed waist-deep water to the ‘island’ and walked around back where it was much quieter. I laid out all of my stuff, put on the snorkel and headed to the sea. Apparently I really like to snorkel! At first I was really nervous that my tube would fill with water but that passed when I started noticing the fish. The bigger ones I would stalk… I thought it was hilarious that they viewed me as a threat. I looked at fish in that manner for an hour cumulatively and spent the rest of my time on the beach by myself. By myself! What a novel idea in a camp where privacy and alone time is scarce. It was a very relaxing solo trip. I didn’t miss the bus back either. I’m quite proud of that. I slept most of the way to Gerani. I got back in camp at ten to six and nothing else of interest happened all night.

9-13

Today I cleaned the camp, took a shower (I’d prefer not to count the days since my last one…), did my laundry and went to lunch at Bossa with Alex, Nora and Mel. Twas nice but overpriced. Then a quiet K2 with Alex. Today starts my ‘kiosk marathon’ as I have five days in a row. [Note from 9-16: due to new circumstances which you’ll read about later, I now have eight kiosk shifts in a row. Between September 1st and 19th I’ll have had 14 kiosk shifts. That is a LOT. But I’m not complaining.] I find (illegal) things to occupy my time though so I’ll be fine.

Today we chatted with a young Scottish couple. Is it possible to have a crush on just an accent? If so, both Alex and I did. Alex has a Scottish boyfriend waiting for her in London though. *minor jealousy* There was also a middle-aged English couple who introduced themselves thusly: “we are photographers who are interested in the environment, but I hate putting money in politician’s pockets.” To which I gruffly replied: “we are not a government organization. All of our money comes from tourist and volunteer donations.” Then I calmed down and very thoroughly told them everything I know about turtles. They bought a pendent, thanked me and gave me their business card. And a whiney American kid said loudly “that’s a loggerhead sea turtle. We’ve sponsored one somewhere,” as if he knew everything about them. Alex said “yep, that’s one of yours.” “I don’t claim him,” I said. On the bus back to camp Alex pressed the ‘stop’ button too early and she said, “well I guess we walk… It’s just training for Samaria!”

9-14 Samaria

Nora and I woke up at 6:10 and got on the 6:30 bus to Chania. We took the 7:30 bus to Omalos, had an apple pie (not bad, but not Southern) and set off for the Gorge! On one of my first steps I tripped. That wasn’t encouraging… But it was so me. The first hour was a steep downhill descent and we quickly discovered our downhill muscles are not as prepared as our uphill muscles. Every time we stopped (or walked, actually) our legs shook but that stopped when it flattened out. When Alex and Becky walked the Gorge they started a tradition: every time you slip, slide, stumble or trip you must say “OPA!” There was a lot of that from the clumsy American girls, I must say. At one point there was a maze of crumbling rock walls off in the distance. Me: “… What is it?” Nora: “I don’t know. Something ANCIENT.” True dat. There were some ruins of something or other every few kilometers. The Samaria Gorge itself is 12.8 km but the whole walk from bus stop to boat is 17 km (11 mi so I’m told). It took us four hours and 40 minutes to get out of the Gorge and in that time I took 150 photos… It’s a heavily documented trip! And ever part of it was gorgeous and begged to be photographed, so I obliged. We had lunch at a taverna that caters to weary Gorge goers and I had a surprisingly good iced tea. Nothing like Daddy’s, but not bad for a can. Walking from the restaurant to the beach, my tired leg gave out ad I slipped off the curb onto my butt. Before now I had such a good record! 5 weeks of being ‘graceful.’ But I’m back to being clumsy. It was a good run. We waited for the ferry to Chora Sfakion for about 30 minutes then had a nice little boat trip that lasted about an hour. Then we waited for a bus and arrived at Chania around 7, thirty minutes late for my shift. When I finally made it Katherina was talking to Germans and I was no help. I nearly fell asleep during the shift. I did notice large groups of American men wandering around but that was the only interesting thing to happen. On the way to the bus station Katherina darted across the street while I waited for the light. When I made it across she said, “sorry, I forgot about your Samaria legs.” Yes, they were sore. I was more aware of my legs and was sore in muscles I didn’t know I have. Once we were at the bus station we had to wade through a group of at least 30 American guys! One man noticed us and called to the rest, “guys make a hole, civilians coming through!” Hmm, ‘civilians’? They must be the Navy guys from Souda… That explains all of the guys wandering the harbor. It was a bit uncomfortable being in a sea of THAT much testosterone. I managed to not fall asleep on the bus back and when we arrived at camp everyone was still up! It was the first time everyone was awake at camp at the same time so we took group pictures. We sang to music late into the morning and everyone stayed up too late.

9-15

I accomplished nothing all day until I went into Chania. There I got online and had a chocolate/banana crepe for dinner. πŸ˜€ You get to do that when you are responsible for yourself! Twas delicious and a good decision. I had K3 with Nina which was uneventful. I saw more American men wandering the streets in large groups. None of them come to the kiosk…

Nina and Katherina think “it’s just too much” being at such a dirty camp, so they are leaving tomorrow. They were supposed to stay through September but they’re leaving two weeks early! This means we have two less people to split the jobs with and everbody will have far more shifts each day. We’ll have to cancel slideshows because there won’t be anyone to do them. And they were already written on the roter for the next four days so we had to divvy up those shifts. Between Friday and Saturday, ORIGINALLY I had just morning survey and cooking the next day which left nearly two days to travel! I was going to go on an overnight trip to Knossus or somewhere. But since Nina and Katherina are leaving, I have more kiosk shifts and can’t go. Grr on them! They are nice girls but they’re whiny and are wimping out.

Because of this, it was a quiet shift between me and Nina. At the bus stop though I saw another big group of Americans! My curiosity got the best of me and I stopped to ask them what they’re doing here. Eventually they said they’re military people building houses for the elderly. (Random…) They didn’t believe that I’m American! They kept saying, “No shit!” I met a guy from Texas and only because of that was he exciting. They wanted to know what the hell I was doing there and I said sea turtle volunteering, but my bus was there so I had to catch it. While thirty men is overwhelming, ten is kinda nice. I felt like Scarlett O’Hara at a party. πŸ˜‰

Because it’s Alex’s (and Nina/Katherina but they don’t count because they’re wusses) last night everyone went out to eat and drink during K3. I met them on the road to Tequila Bar where we had a grand ole time and stayed up late again. Many inside jokes were made in slightly inebriated/ really tired states of mind. Demitri and I went home early (around 1) and noticed a tree in the middle of the camp! Had that always been there…? Surely we would have noticed it before not. We were really confused (sober yet sleepy) and left a note asking if anyone else had ever noticed that tree. We decided it was best just to sleep…

9-16 Can you drink them?

Yup, that tree has always been there. But nobody else had any vivid memories of it either. Anyway…

Nora and I escorted Alex to Chania around ten for a last ice cream together. This was a 2 scoop occasion. Alex is the bomb! We’ll miss her dearly. Around 11:30 we put her in a taxi with promises to facebook / see each other again. 😦

Since there is no midnight bus anymore, we’ve adjusted the kiosk schedule to be 10-2, 2-6, 6-10. I had loads of time to kill (that same metaphor is used in French and German as well) so I went to a pretty spot and read, then had lunch and read, then returned to the kiosk to write about the past few days. Tanja had a slideshow last night and a man from Denmark said, “what are sea turtles? Can you drink them?” We believe him to be an alcoholic… At kiosk today a man was messing with The Horse That Bites and it really pissed me off! He was tapping him on the nose and thought it was hilarious that the horse tried valiently to sever his hand from his body. If he’d been closer I would have yelled at him til he ran away. *Glower*

On a happier note, I got an American to talk to me (er, us) at the kiosk! He said hello and I beckoned him over. He’s Greek/American/Jamacian/African though… But his buddy is from Ohio. He said “how American are you?” Um, Mississippian? Heehee. And he thought Tanja was American, I corrected him that she’s German (crap! She’s Swiss! She just speaks German…) and he couldn’t remember ‘hello’ in German. It’s ‘hallo’ for future reference. He didn’t think she could speak English, which was funny. Then he shook my hand and said “auf wiedersehen” and walked away. After that Tanja said “I have not met many Americans.” I said, hopefully, “do you like us?” Tanja replied in a grave tone, “No.” Ouch! She was kidding though, but she doesn’t like how we treat the environment. Well neither do I!

On the bus ride back Tanja had a German science magazine and I started messing around trying to figure out what the headlines meant. The crazy thing is, I was write a lot of the time! And Tanja was impressed that I remembered words from one page to the next. I figured out that one article was about the LHC in Geneva which I learned about in physics junior year! Thanks Reidy. Now Tanja might teach me some German during our many kiosk shifts together in the coming two weeks. Wooh!

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fall down go boom

9-9-09

Triple nine! I had morning survey on HL with John, who was very tired this morning. I think we left ten minutes late because it took him so long to process things! And we were doing an excavation (I caved and said I’d do another) so we had to pack the excavation bucket but we forgot to pack our tally sheets. There were people I’d met at kiosk who showed up to watch the excavation and Stu and Penny were supposed to come with their daughter but they “slept over” as Ilektra put it. So it was just 2 random beach passersby and an older British lady and her blonde son. He looked to be about 8, was very inquisitive about turtles, and he wrote down all the things we did from the excavation. It was particulars like 88 hatched, 2 pipped (died while hatching), 2 late stage, 2 eye spots, 11 with no embryo and he drew the diagram of the egg chamber. He and his mother followed us down the beach on the majority of the morning survey and I gave him the 3 shells I’d found that day on the beach. He reminded me of a less energetic Max or Jay with a British accent. And since nothing traumatic happened, I’ll probably do another excavation.

Ilektra joined us at the end of the excavation to walk the beach one last time since she leaves tonight. When she, John and I got to the bus stop it was 9:05 and John said it wouldn’t be until 9:20 at the earliest that the next bus came. Based solely on this information, I went to the super market for yoghurt. Right as I was checking out John shouted “McKenna, the bus’s here!” I threw down the appropriate change and ran to catch the bus. Cheers John, for that wonderful bit of inside information!

Back at camp I had (second) breakfast and went back to sleep until ELEVEN! I ❀ my new location. So I got on the 12:15 bus (that’s two hours early for K2) to Chania prepared to pay almost anything for sweet smelling laundry. When I got to the laundromat the proprietor said “it’s impossible to have it done, I close in an hour. Come back tomorrow at seven.” Bear in mind I have carried these clothes to town TWO DAYS already, and I am wearing the only clothes that are not in the bag. I asked him how long it would take to wash it and he said an hour, so I said DO IT. Then I found out that he opens back up at seven and I get off my shift at 6:30 so the plan was he’d wash and dry (for nine euros… that’s more than two meals for me here. Grumble.) my stuff and I’d pick it up at seven.

K2 with Nora was fruitful from Archelon’s perspective and my own . We made 52 euros and met interesting people.Β  There were 2 Americans from D.C. that were very interested in Nora and my gap years but not so much in turtles. The mother bought a shirt and the son (a recent college grad) helped her decide which one. That was a long process in iteslf. Nora thought they were stereotypical rude, ignorant Americans but I liked them fine. Then a lady from New Jersey and her older mother from New Hampshire asked us for directions and talked to us for a while. The also wished us luck in our endeavors but weren’t very interested in sea turtles! The most random character we met was a zealous Canadian photographer who ran up to the kiosk saying “oooooooh! Look at those smiles!” and took pictures of us. He thanked us and gleefully skipped away to show the pictures to his wife. That was bizarre but hilarious.

After K2 I went to pick up my laundry though I knew I was early, but the door was open so I walked in to wait. After ten minutes or so I thought “wait… My laundry has to be HERE. There is no back room.” So I poked around until I found my clothes in the dryer of all places! *Blonde moment* I collected my laundry making sure I had an even number of socks, left a ten on the table and caught the 7 bus! Demetri and Katharina were on that one too headed home from the Samaria Gorge and they had a good report. (I do that Monday!) Then dinner, Bossa and bed.

9-10

I woke up around nine and Demetri and I went on the 10:00 bus to Chania to connect to Almirida for windsurfing! The bus ride was very pretty with stereotypical Greek scene of mountains by the sea. The windsurfing place wouldn’t rent us equipment since we didn’t know how but that’s ok, we just sat on the beach for some hours and had a big lunch at “Dimitris.” As we were waiting on the bus I noticed a little old lady taking miniscule steps down the street. I’m talkin’ two inch steps max. She walked past the bench and asked if I minded her sitting next to me because she needed a rest. Long story short, her name is Mary, she’s from England, she has arthritis in her legs, she’s 80, her husband has been dead a while, and she’s been coming to Almirida for at least 20 years. She was peppy and fun to talk to! I helped her up from the bench but after that she said “no dear, I must do it on my own or I won’t make it to the market.” Oh and she thought Demitri and I met here and fell in love. eeheehee, I corrected her but I think she didn’t want to hear it so she ignored me. We wished each other happy holidays and I hope to see her again in the next life.

Back in Chania for K3 and it was miserable there. I packed for a warm beach this morning, not a cold, rainy harbor! The kiosk isn’t waterproof and I had to borrow a shirt that we sell for warmth… We ended up closing the kiosk at 7:45 because there were no tourists and the rain wasn’t planning on letting up any time soon. Luckily Christina had a coat as well as a rain jacket so she let me borrow her rain poncho. I would’ve been soaked by the time I got to the bus station if I hadn’t had it. When I got back to Gerani, I noticed Petro was running around LOOSE by the orange factory! He was polite enough to run past me rather than run through me. Petro is freeeee!

9-11

Petro was chained up again by 6:15 this morning. His freedom was shortlived. Because the rain stopped some time last night, we had to do morning survey. When it rains all night or if it’s raining when we wake up, ms gets cancelled because you can’t see any tracks. So as it was sprinkling when Katharina were at the bus stop, I was doing a little rain dance in my head. But no, the heavens waited to let loose until we were halfway down the beach. Note to self: do not wear glasses on days it may rain. I had my raincoat so my upper body stayed relatively dry but the rest of me got soaked. I loaned Katharina my sun hat because it’s also waterproof but she wore it so low over her eyes that she nearly walked into a volleyball net! Heehee! Once it started pouring we left the beach and walked along the road, where a passing bus splashed all of my left side. How rude! We had to get camp breakfast from Artemis and it weighed down my soaked backpack. I did the same thing Katharina did and had my hood down low over my eyes to keep my glasses dry. Where the sidewalk ended was a huge puddle so we went along the grass… And I swear I heard a metallic “BONG!” as my forehead collided with a metal sign I hadn’t seen. Because my backpack was so laden down with food, I couldn’t recover my balance and I landed on my butt. Katharina asked if I was ok and I said too quickly “Yes! I can’t believe I fell down. Damn groceries…” Then we continued back to camp. I hit my head so hard my head, jaw and neck ached. When I got back to camp I dropped the breakfast on the table and John was unlucky (read: stupid) enough to ask how morning survey was. I snapped at him and tried to sleep off my headache for the next three hours. I only came out of my tent when it stopped raining around noon and found that the campsite is a mess. Maria called John yesterday and said “you do know that when it rains your camp becomes a swimming pool, right?” Thanks for the late warning!

Then Tanja and I shaded a nest on MR which took a while. While I was doing this Nora got food to make grilled cheeses and a fruit salad for dinner. It was a delicious and easily prepared dinner! Wooh.

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Random people in Crete

9-6 continued

I no longer feel clean after drying off with my towels and the memory of the smell of Martyn’s towels has driven me to something outside our rustic camp lifestyle: I’m going to find a laundromat. This was my goal as I hastily threw my clothes into my backpack before my kiosk shift, but once on the bus I realized I didn’t have the washing detergent necessary or enough time before K3 so I postponed til tomorrow. The man next to me on the bus confirmed my theory that old Greek men have the worst B.O…

Once in Chania I had a leisurely dinner of a gyro in front of the cathedral. An older lady sat next to me on the bench and addressed me in Greek and French. I asked if she spoke English and she hesitantly said “a little.” So we proceeded to have broken conversations about animals (a dog carrying a water bottle, the pidgeons she was feeding, the mama cat who was watching the pidgeons…) why my gyro had no meat (“no MEAT?!”), our scars on our knees (I said I fell on something sharp rather than try to explain my chainsaw story) and the “spectacle” that was imminent. I thought she meant theater of some sort but eventually we got it sorted out that she was there for a wedding. It was quite fun listening to her talk to the pidgeons in French and say “bibibibibi” to them in a high pitched voice as we might say “here birdy birdy.” Using context clues to figure out her French was interesting as well. She asked which country (state) I was from in the US then asked if John Kennedy was also from Mississippi. I said “no ma’am, I believe you’re thinking of Massachusetts.” Then we talked about Obama for a bit and since I didn’t want toΒ  inadvertently crash a wedding, I excused myself for a pre K3 crepe, which was fantastic as always. (I justify all the chocolate by putting a banana in it and counting it as one of my 5-a-day.)

Demetrios and I had a quiet shift UNTIL… Eric and Susanna showed up! Now, at the time, we had no idea who these people were. We were just confronted with two Brits telling us about 5 nests on a beach we don’t patrol that we should tell John to excavate. Since they were more informed than us, we could tell they weren’t tourists. But they had walked up to us like we should know who they were so we acted like we did. They each rolled a cigarette and Eric was nursing a beer so they seeemed set to chill for a while. They asked where we’re from, how long we’d been here, how much time we had left, what all we’d seen, etc. And at one glorious point, Susanna and I started talking horses. It was dreadfully obvious that Eric is not a horse person. Once the conversation started, he threw up his hands and said to Demetri “well it’s started, we might as well go away now.” But rather than getting that glazed look in his eyes like so many non-horse types, he’d listen and interject his own misadventures on horseback. I mentioned the horse riding place in Georgiopoulis that I nearly went to with Nicky and Christina. To this Susanna said “oh, I could take you there, I used to lead rides. Wait til late September and we can go just the two of us.” Yaaaaaaay! My face lit up and I gushed about how awesome it would be to get to ride here and we continued chatting about horses. It’s amazing how horse people attract each other. After 45 minutes or so of their company Eric said he’d need another beer if they were planning on staying long, so they left with promises from Susanna that she’d come back to wisk me away to ride. As soon as they were gone Demetri asked “who ARE they?” I had gathered from past camp conversations that they’re locals who drop by every so often to help Archelon out. Poor Demetri thought Susanna was Maria, the boss lady from Athens, so he was on his best behavior. It’s much better not being a newbie.

When our shift was over we closed up and got to the bus station at 10:50 but we’d missed the 11:00 bus. I nearly fell asleep waiting on the half eleven bus. I fell asleep as soon as I got to camp because…

9-7

John gave me K1 after K3 again. I got about 8 hours of sleep which is enough for a normal person but technically I’m still a teenager! Perhaps I need to have an angry tantrum to remind John of this. The only time I show my age is when I cook and talk about home. So I popped out of bed this morning, got ready, bought laundry detergent and hopped on the Chania bus with Daniel. We got food from my favorite bakery and I tried a cream pie instead of my usual cheese pie. I thought to myself “you kno, this would be so much better with fruit in it,” and I believed it to be an original thought. Then I had a facepalm moment when I realized I just wanted a good ole apple pie and not a Greek pie with cream, feta or spinach. πŸ™‚ So no, it’s been done and I was not as original as I thought.

We’ve had an interesting day of people watching. I heard some Americans complaining about their flight and it was nice to hear my own accent for a bit. Then two French ladies took mildly inappropriate pictures on a bench in front of the lighthouse. Later a man sat on the same bench and adjusted his prostetic leg that had a fake tattoo at the ankle! You go fake leg man, be hardcore. I saw a kid with a superbowl shirt from 1965. Yay real football! He probably didn’t know what his shirt is, though. A girl got splashed by the waves and screamed. That always happens if you sit on the wet bench! Be aware of surroundings, people. I saw an Eeyore tattoo on someone’s shoulder/back and really wanted to take a picture of it, but Daniel said it would be creepy of me. And one of the horsemen that parked next to the kiosk started singing to himself. (The singing horseman couldn’t compare to the singing cowboy though.) Then a lady came and posed for a picture in front of the kiosk, but didn’t talk to us at all…. And a Greek lady bought a leather coin purse as a gift and was so put out that we didn’t have a bag or any gift wrapping. I tried to explain that plastic bags get in the sea and sea turtles eat them thinking they’re jellyfish, but she kept saying “I can’t give gift like this!” and eventually wandered away. She probably rides jetskis, uses sunbeds and walks on the beach at night… Mean old lady. Oh, and twiced Swedish people came to the kiosk so for about 5 minutes I was fascinated by Daniel’s mother tonugue. Apparently Chef from the muppets has a really crummy accent. Swedish is beautiful! I thought I heard “volunteer” when Daniel was speaking and he said he used a “Swedification” of the English word. I quite enjoyed “Swedification.” And in the second group of Swedes there were very blonde children. The boy was talking to Daniel a lot and when they left Daniel said “shit, that was so impressive, that kid knew everything about turtles from watching Discovery Channel! I told him to come back when he was 18.” Haha! So Daniel, the one in the kiosk, got schooled on turtle info by a 6 year old.

Daniel has many crafty ideas about how to increase our profits. He says we should take donation jars on the beach during excatavions but apparently Archelon won’t let us. His other idea is to change our sign that says “Sea Turtles” to say “See Turtles” to get more attention. Then when people come up asking to see turtles, we claim it’s a misprint and educate them quickly about turtle dangers! Mwahaha! Genius, no? And sneaky.

I realized Daniel is right handed because on the duty sheet his stike through four tallies went the wrong way from mine! The only time before now that I’ve had any discomfort from things not being the same (ok, OCD moments) is with the t-shirts which I organize every shift. Otherwise I’m doing very well! And I had another facepalm moment caused by a non-horse person commenting on a horse. A paint carriage horse trotted by and Daniel said “Oh, it looks like a cow!” I quickly explained that the coloring is called a paint and the pattern has no affiliation with cows! Currently we are “Swede watching.” Usually all of the Swedish folks stay at Platainas and enjoy the beach but because it’s overcast today, they’ve come into Chania. Any blonde I see I point out to Daniel and he listens to them and either confirms or rejects my guess. I get half credit for Norwegians. I showed him a picture of Catherine and he says she looks American but could have Swedish heritage. Note to self: figure out how one ‘looks American.’ Note on language: Swedish for ‘egg’ is ‘egg.’

I laughed for so long about this next little anecdote. I asked Daniel how tall he is and he said 186 cm. I said that means nothing to me since I work in feet and inches so he pulled out his cell and used the conversion function. Then he says, “I am six feet, ten inches tall.” I burst out laughing and told him to try that again because he’d have been drafted by the NBA if he actually was that tall. He looks again at his phone and said “oh, 6.10 is six feet one inch. Ok.” He did more math to figure out how tall 6’10 is in cm and it’s over 2m. “Wow, I wouldn’t fit in my tent.” Succintly put, Daniel!

Then I went to the laundromat and found something horrible: It was closed. 😦 So I took a picture of their very odd hours, returned my detergent since I saw they had some in the window, and promised myself I’d come back before my next kiosk shift. Back at camp I took a nap before dinner and woke up to the startling realization that I would have to talk at the slideshow… So I read the script a couple times, went to the hotel and there was nobody there. Oh well, that just meant I got to go to sleep early!

9-8

Today was my day off and last night I decided I’d go to Elephonisi… By myself. Apparently I got very excited about it. I kept waking up in the night thinking “only blank more hours until my solo adventure!” I’d packed a beach mat and John’s Terry Pratchett book so I’d have hours of joyful reading in the sun by the clear water. Tanja said it’s a wonderful place to snorkel so I packed a snorkel from camp as well (which I cleaned thoroughily with baby wipes and hand sanitizer). I woke up at 8:35, looked at the bus schedule and read the wrong time: I thought the bus left Chania at 8:30 but it actually left at nine and would get into Gerani around 9:30. I ran to town and bought fruit and a sandwich to take with me and I sat down on the curb to wait. I reorganized my backpack. I wrote down what I’d bought. I cracked a walnut with my pocked knife. By this point it was 9:24 and I saw a bus. I squinted to read where it was going and popped up waving my arms when I saw it was my bus, but it passed me despite this gesture. Depressed, I walked back to camp to see if there was anywhere else I could go today. I even briefly considered walking the Samaria Gorge by myself. But nothing was possible except revisiting Falasarna to see the ruine there, but Christina mentioned that ruins with no explanation aren’t all that great… So I stayed at camp on my day off. Again.

Last night we had the first rain of September. Earlier I wished I could get some use out of my rain jacket but now I’d be happy to bring it home without breaking it in. See, when I got back in my tent after the bus debacle, I read my book for a couple hours then decided to clean my tent and discovered something frustrating: the bottom of my tent isn’t quite waterproof. I pulled all my stuff out and moved to another spot in the tent shades, hopefully a place that doesn’t have a dip to hold a pool of water. It took probably an hour and a half to dry my tent and sleeping mat, relocate my tent and move all my stuff back in.

At this point in the day, around 3, I just wanted to read by the sea. For 2 days it’s been so loud, like an air conditioning unit on max. I wanted to see big waves so I walked to the sea with “Mort” (my book) but found I wasn’t alone. A potbellied man unfortunately upwind of me kept shooting furtive glances at me, so I moved further down the beach. So did he. I went behind him and he’d turn around in what he thought was a nonchalant manner to look at me. I wentΒ  closer to Mr. G’s (the man whose land we camp on) house and the creepy guy did too so I left in disgust. He didn’t make me uncomfortable so much as he repulsed me. I was a bit concerned when I thought he was following me to camp, but I walked briskly and I don’t think he could keep up. All I’d wanted was to read in peace! So I went back to my hot little tent and escaped into Discworld.

After dinner of stuffed peppers I shared Demetri’s bag of raisinetts. He offered and do I seem like one to turn down chocolate? After this I went to my tent to go to bed but was disturbed by bright lights and loud “Boom Boom Pow,” an American hip hop song. I crept out of my tent still in pajamas to see what the commotion was. 2 Greek guys had driven into out camp so we crowded around the car and asked what they were doing in OUR camp… They said (in Greek to Christina) that they wanted to hang out and have coffee with us. We politely declined, they left with their music blaring, and we went to bed.

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