The island grapevine

‘So, we had a refund here for you yesterday, but you didn’t come to get it?’ Syros said at reception with a knowing look.   

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.

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