I made my way to breakfast. T and C – who I had met a couple of nights previously – arrived and joined me. ‘I thought I might go up to the monastery this morning if you’d like to come?’ I said. C looked at me – ‘How was your date?’ she replied.
I went to pick something up at reception. ‘Where were you yesterday?’ said Carol, ‘I want to hear all about it’.
The same at the bar: ‘How was your day?’ Greg asked. ‘Very nice, thanks’ I replied as we both looked out to sea. Syros joined in: ‘Any more details?’ ‘No’ I replied. ‘That’s confidential information’.
I had forgotten that in a small place, everybody not only starts to know your name but takes an interest in what you do too. Which is better? I thought: A big city environment where people can barely tear themselves away from their iphones for a nanosecond let alone engage in conversation – or a small island where the grapevine is a lifeline?
It was my last night and after dinner I sat chatting to various people in the bar, when G appeared.
‘So what have you been doing?’ He said. ‘A bit of sightseeing…. I see. Sightseeing with who? ‘ he went on his blue eyes twinkling away, smiling. ‘I think you know, G’ I replied. ‘ How was Dassia last night by the way?’ He turned round, startled, to face me: ‘How do you know I was there last night?’
Photos were taken, and I started to feel sad saying my farewells. ‘Have a nice life’ G said as our eyes met. T and I kiss kissed goodbye and Costas gave me the biggest hug.
Holidays – they may start in a solitary way, surrounded by strangers. But, after a few days it’s amazing how relationships form and attachments are made. In a place, literally and figuratively speaking, where one has the time and space, it always becomes about the people that you meet and it strikes me that despite the gossip – that’s a very real and human place to be.