Sunday, October 7, 2007

Day 1 - Glasgow to Kalymnos


Sunday 7th October 2007

We emigrate, departing Glasgow at 8pm, landing in Kos at 2am. To greet holidaymakers, a toilet at the airport displays an image of a local Roman mosaic entitled The Rape of Europe. Outside, taxi drivers are waving their arms at each other and smoking fags.

We kill four and a half hours before catching a cab for the wharf. The cabbie drives fast and has holy icons on his dash. The broken English/Greek conversation with the taxi driver reveals to us that New Zealand is “very far away”.

Disappointingly, the boat for Kalymnos leaves more or less on time but the balance is restored by a debacle at the other end: a fishing boat has parked where the ferry is supposed to go. The captains lecture each other through megaphones while bystanders on the wharf wave their arms and shout. Eventually, everyone seems satisfied with a fifteen minute delay and we dock.

Nicole's father Michael is there and drives us the 5 minutes to the house. We eat fish soup with him and his wife Maria and sleep till afternoon.

Nicole wakes up and looks down from our window to see her father standing at his front door wearing only shorts and carrying a large tin of dog food and a handgun.

The dog food is for Michael’s kittens. They are Avramopolous and Nektarios because they apparently look “exactly” like a politician and a bishop with the same names. Dog food for cats? “They cannot read!” says Michael.

Michael loves his kittens and cuddles them close to his chest, unless they are in the wrong place in which case he thumps them, fairly hard, with the back of his hand. “Carrot and stick!” he laughingly explains.

The gun is for other cats. He fires pellets at any who enter the territory. We eat outside and to pass the pepper you have to reach across the gun.

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