Thursday, October 18, 2007

Day 12 - The "World's Most Notorious and Brutal Asylum for The Insane"

Paul borrows the Mongoose. This is Michael’s beloved mountain bike which in actual fact is rusted and is stuck in first gear. The gear situation and the too-low-for-Paul saddle position contrive to create an inelegant ride.

The reason for the journey is because, after fruitless internet searching, Paul is going to go to the Kalymnos Municipal Stadium to find out, in person, when there is local football. The facts are that this coming Sunday we can go and watch Vathi v Leros.

The match promises much. Vathi is the virtually uninhabited valley on the East side of the island where they grow lemons and Leros is the next door island to Kalymnos, mainly known for its lunatic asylum which was only closed in the late 1990s and has been described as “the world's most notorious and brutal asylum for the insane.”

The story of the asylum is pretty heavy going: you can see a picture at the right and read one man’s account of what he saw here: The Asylum of Leros

Speaking of asylum, we finally finish re-decorating the living room/office. Kelly’s mad red/pink scheme has been eliminated by nearly 20 litres of white emulsion. Being in the room is no longer like drowning inside a huge tub of strawberry ice cream that has gone off.

Now it’s white and now it is possible to spend more than ten minutes in the room without thinking of murder.

Interesting Greek language fact #1: The Greek word for “rat” is “big mouse”

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a truly entertaining Saturday morning read! Who needs a paper eh? Cath

Janine said...

You have a gift! I chuckled often while reading of your Greek experience! (except for the asylum info - omg!) Hope you have a can opener by now!

Nikos said...

Why people keep on referring to Leos asylum, that is an old story, in fact I was invited by the BBC a few years ago to be a local guide and translator to BBC's correspondent for a Radio 4 show (Crossing Continents). I have the CD of the show and I can send it to you to see how developed are today the mental institutions in Greece and specific on Leros. As I am reading your bog starting from day one I don't know yet what did you expected to find in Kalymnos, but as everywhere else in provincial Greece there are delays, bureaucracy and things that you don't use to have in your place but I rather be in Leros now (for sure not in Kalymnos) instead here in the UK with all "comforts" of the "western life" (thanks gowd I can enjoy me self here with Blackadder, Hyacinth Bouquet, fools and horses and Faulty towers plus my satellite Greek tv) but I can enjoy them as well in Greece (I carry always my DVD's with). Anyway back to the subject because I know quite a few Brits and other foreigners in Leros its all a matter of adaptation . First of all you should learn the language and get in contact with the locals, try to be a part of their society and not isolate your self's with probably a group of local expat's from the Anglo-Saxon world and spending the day in a cafe chatting and complaining ironically about the "bloody Greeks" in your language. Even your blog shows your needs for human contact , well go out and meet the locals, Greeks are the most friendliest people towards foreigners (unfortunately not among them self's) .Anyway do you know what I am missing mostly here in the UK ,I miss contact i.e. friends, family, a kafeneio to meet Manolis, Nikos ,Kostas or Giorgos, I miss going to OTE and chat with the Proistamenos or the employers like friends, because in fact there, we all know each other. I miss going to the Cafeteria and chat with the Postman , the Priest the road Sweeper or the Mayor. Well after all I am Greek but I advise you if you want to live in Greece and enjoy your stay try to become and think as Greeks do. Just take it easy and stop complain about this and that, after all it was you to decide emigrating to Greece.Oh and don't forget to visit Leros in Summer or Spring its only less that an hour with Dodekanissos Express. Or go to Myrties and take the small boat that leaves daily at 1pm for Xirokampos in Leros.If you want to contact just send a message to info at lerosisland dot com

Paul and Nicole said...

Hi Nikos

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and write a comment.

Don't get us wrong - we love it here. After all, Nicole is half-Greek!

Our blog is a "tongue-in-cheek" look at Greek island life. In other words, we're enjoying the humourous idiosyncrasies that exist here, as they do in all cultures - including the UK.

As for Leros, our cousin Yiorgos says it's beautiful and we plan to visit soon.

Hope you keep reading!

Nikos said...

Wish you the best in Kalymnos,I spend the whole last year in Leros and was wonderful. As I mention though you need friends to go out. If you go in Leros go to Panteli at Cafeteria Castelo, in the winter they have a nice fire place and free adsl internet eat at Psaropoula or Zorbas in Panteli. You can stay at Hotel Miramare in Laki or in Crithonis Paradise they are open all year.

Paul and Nicole said...

Thanks Nikos,

We would have had to look around for hotels and restaurants when we visit Leros - so now we know where to go...

Many thanks and Best Wishes

Paul and Nicole

mixalis said...

The most traditional hotel in leros greece is
ANGELIKA.web site :www.leros-angelika.com
The most beautiful garden ever.

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