I've just sat down to write about today and I don't know how to even begin to describe or explain, what has just been one of the best days of my life. Its been a day filled with fun, sun, recklessness, stupidity, passion and most of all adventure. I might start by explaining something about myself and about Greece first, then this article may be better understood by the wider masses reading it. Know that before you read any further, that I have never, ever voiced what I'm about to write in a public forum to even my closest friends and family.
There has been this internal battle raging with in me for years, before I even went to Greece, but to Greece a side of the war, in my mind had been assigned. The battle has always been, do I stay in Australia or move overseas and do something with my archaeology and have the wonderful career that I outwardly always dreamed of, OR do I fade away into obscurity to a random Greek island and just be happy. Simply put, I associate Greece with freedom and all that is fun, passionate and beautiful. When I appear far away when someone is talking to me, I'm usually in Greece, thinking what it would be like if I just took off, if I could just be happy. I think that question got its answer today.
The day started off like any other, with me wondering what to do with another day in paradise. I decided to go check out this Kamari beach place, which seemed to be the place also, with the most frequent bus service. I packed up and trooped off to the bus station and got on the first bus that came down the road, with Kamari on the front. I got off in the village and had a bit of a look in the shops, before making my way down to another black sand, and rather stony beach though a group of restaurants. In one of the restaurants I stopped to briefly check the menu, thinking of lunch later on, a place called Maria's.
As I was about to walk off and onto the beach a incredible looking young man with a short Mohawk ran up behind me, just like the hagglers in Egypt, trying to get me to sit down and eat. I turned around to face him, almost on the beach and when I looked at him he stopped dead in his tracks, forgot what he was doing for a second and asked me for my name. I was expecting a sales pitch, so it took a few seconds for it to kick in that I wasn't going to get one. He asked me for my name again, and I told him. No way, that's beautiful, he said in his sexy Greek accent.
He then looked straight at me, cocked his head to one side and said, Take off your sunglasses, Ok I'll play along, I thought, so I took off my sunglasses, secretly thinking that it was a good thing I had evened out my facial tan lines yesterday or this handsome young man may just burst out laughing. Far from laughing, he drew his breath and said, You have the most beautiful eyes, how old are you? When I told him, he didn't believe me, or at least he had the decency to pretend he didn't believe me. I finish at four, do you want to go out with me when I finish work? I nearly fell over, the sensible part of me told me to say no and walk away, but that part of me lost out and I thought, why the hell not? So I said, yes I would go out with him, knowing full well what this probably meant.
I then was escorted down to the beach, to the area owned by the restaurant, and told to sit here for the day. I think to make sure I wasn't going anywhere, more than anything else. I went into the cool blue water, down the stony beach, desperately trying to look graceful (and failing) and then sat in my sun lounger intermittently falling asleep and waking up and giggling at what had just happened. My composure was not improved by the fact that every time I looked up there was this cheeky waiter making silly hand gestures at me from the pavement and obviously trying to attract my attention.
When I had enough of the beach I came up and sat in the restaurant and had a bit of lunch. It felt funny ordering my food from someone I was going on a date with later on in the day. Especially, when I decided I wanted a cocktail and the only thing on the menu that I recognized was a Sex on the Beach, which I snickered at when I ordered. Thankfully, another waiter took that order, but my new friend brought it to me. There were some other Australians at the restaurant and my new friend was bantering with them, I heard the lady say, You should get yourself a good Aussie girlfriend! At which I giggled at and he just looked over at me and gave me a huge cheeky grin, which I know made me blush and smile like a maniac. Again, so much for being the least bit coy.
He came over to me, So, she thinks I should get an Australian girlfriend, Yeah I heard that, I said with a cheeky grin. He then proceeded to pass me a note, which in case I had had gotten the wrong idea about where all this shameless flirting was going, would have cleared it up. Lucky, I am 30 and not a naïve school girl, I knew exactly where this was going. I listened to him banter with the passers by, telling people to Relax this is Greece and then listened to him tell me all the fun he has with all the different nationalities, he thinks Russians are grumpy too.
I ate my food and drank my cocktail, before thinking I had to get a little bit of ground back, so I went inside to pay the bill, thinking that it would give him a heart attack, thinking I had run off. It worked like a charm. I came out of the building and he just looked at me with his palms raised, as if to say, Hey, what gives. He came running over, Where you going? No where, I said, I went to the bathroom. He then gave me a very sheepish look, so I grabbed both of his shoulders and looked him in the face and said, Relax, this is Greece! We both cracked up….me ever so slightly more than him.
I sat back down for a bit before going for a walk and giving him another heart attack, before finally agreeing to go back and sit on the beach for the last half an hour of his shift, so he could make sure I wasn't going to run off on him. I went back in the sea and then washed off all the salty water in a nearby fresh water shower. I sat back down to dry off in the sun and all of a sudden realized, I had no idea what this guys name was! I also came to the bizarre realization that I didn't care.
He came down to the beach to get me, and asked me to get dressed and wait at the end of the street for me. I did, as I walked thinking, I'll bet I'm about to get on a motorbike. I waited for quite a while, before thinking that I was near the bus terminal and that I would entrust my afternoon to fate. Who ever turns up first is who I'll go with, the bus or the gorgeous guy from the restaurant. Just as I had that thought, I saw a red motorbike appear out of the corner of my eye and a handsome man in aviator sunglasses and jeans motion for me to come over to him and climb aboard.
Fearlessly, I climbed up on the bike behind the Adonis I was spending the afternoon with, finally remembering my manners and asking him his name, even though I wasn't really that bothered not knowing it. His name turned out to be Stefan….. sexy as hell. We sped off, and although thoroughly enjoying the ride, I was making a mental note of where I was being taken. We stopped in front of one of those amazing blue and white churches and I got off the back of the bike. He looked at me and said, Are you scared? I made a disgusted noise, Pfft! Never! He looked at me like he didn't believe me and took off my sunglasses, held my face in his hands and looked straight into my eyes and said, Wow… there really is no fear in your eyes and kissed me. I'm not sure what the point was in stopping there in the middle of the road in the heat, but I wonder that in hindsight. At the time, I could think of nothing else but his kisses and the way he looked at me. He crushed me against him, I kissed him back, I vaguely remember having one of those, What the hell am I doing moments and pushed him back before things got too out of hand right then and there.
Breathless, I asked him what the plan was. He just shrugged, take me somewhere, I said to him. He looked at me with a cheeky grin and said,Wait here, two minutes, got on his bike and sped off. Hmmm…I thought, I wonder if he'll come back or if I've been left for dead in the heat. A bit of an exaggeration there, I could still see the town and could have easily walked back. I sat on the wall and took a few pictures of the gorgeous church, thinking I would give Stefan the benefit of the doubt.
He returned about ten minutes later, changed out of his work clothes, now only wearing denim shorts and his aviator sunglasses. I smiled to myself as he rode up and skidded to a halt in front of me. I'm spending the afternoon with him, my grin said. He had a water bottle with him, which was half filled with Jack Daniels he'd nicked from the restaurant. I climbed on behind him, grabbed onto him around the waist and he actually shuffled back in the seat so that I was completely pressed up against him.
We arrived at our destination, which turned out to be a completely deserted stretch of beach. We put out towels down and he held out his hand for mine and said, lets go for a swim. How could I resist. We ran hand in hand into the ocean, we were now really close to the airport and every so often a plane flew over so low we could have almost waved to the passengers.
We chased each other around in the sea, well he chased me, as it should be. Every now and again, I'd let him catch me and passionately kiss me. At one point we were so completely involved in what we were doing that we didn't notice a big wave coming and it hit us in the face. We both laughed, me to the point my sides hurt. Stefan and I left the ocean, me as usual, with all the grace of a donkey with three legs on the stones and with Stefan helping me out of the water.
Hand in hand we wandered back over to where we had left our towels and picked up where we left off, before we were so rudely interrupted by the wave. I protested a few times, thinking people could walk around the corner of the bay at any moment, but all protests were cheekily met, with Relax, this is Greece and then giggles from me. At this point I'm going to leave the rest of the details of the afternoon to the imagination.
At about 5:30 Stefan actually had to go back to work, as he was doing a double shift. This is why I don't have a girlfriend he said, looking at me, he then remarked, I can't believe you don't have a boyfriend. I can't with my job, I said, I'm in a different country every two days sometimes. I don't have a home, I have no one to come home to, I broke up with my last boyfriend because he couldn't handle my life. We'd be good together then, he said. I said, even though you finish at midnight, you could still come home to someone, that's just not an option for me.
We got had another quick swim to get the sand off us and then got back on the bike and Stefan went back to work and I thanked him for an amazing afternoon and I got the bus back to my hotel. Before he left, he asked to meet me at the Highlander club in Fira at 12:30am, when he finished his next shift, I gave him my usual coy Maybe, answer to that one. 12:30am, hmmm that's not really a respectable time.
Once back at the hotel, I attempted to regain some composure, still giggling to myself about my afternoon. I had a quick shower and then got the bus to Oia village to watch the sunset, as I had originally planned. The sunset was absolutely the most beautiful thing I had ever witnessed. The amazing gold glow spread over the blue domes churches and windmills of this small cliff top village, like flame engulfing the head of a struck match. I stood there for ages thinking about my day and watching the amazing spectacle and thinking, you really never know what's going to happen when you get up in the morning. Even if you've had it really rough lately, and you're bordering on suicidal, you could still wake up and that day, right then and there could be the best day of your life. I then realized that this was the best day of my life…and that's a big call coming from me, I've had many amazing days.
After the sun had set I had dinner in one of the cliff top restaurants overlooking the amazing view of not only Oia village, but of the whole island. I could see the other villages on the curve of the caldera all lit up in the failing light as I ate my lovely Greek food. I got the last bus back to Fira and thought, I'll see how long I can hold out here on my own, if I can't wait for Stefan, then I can't.
I had a drink in the restaurant overlooking the town all lit up again and was invited to sit with a group of girls, two South Africans and two French Canadians. The South African's only joined us for about half and hour, but I ended up spending the rest of the night with the two Canadian girls Laura and Maria.
At first I only accepted their invitation to hang out with them because I had heaps of time before I was supposed to meet Stefan and the Highlander bar, but on the way out of town, we walked past this place called The Two Brothers. We were quickly high jacked (I mean that literally) into coming inside. We were hustled and grabbed by three amazing looking Greek guys, who obviously worked there, herded inside and then physically hoisted up onto the bar, where we stayed for most of the night, getting ourselves free shots of Ouzo and free Shisha. All of a sudden I looked at my watch and realized it was way past 12:30am! I'd almost forgotten all about Stefan! I thought, maybe I can go over to the other pub and drag him in here, alas for me he wasn't there. I guess I'll never actually know, who stood who up. I shrugged and went back to the Two brothers and was hoisted back up on the bar with Maria and Laura and picked up exactly where I left of, having another shot of Ouzo in the process.
Maria and Laura had to get up early and had already partied themselves to death on Mykonos, so at about 2:30am we parted ways and I got a taxi back to Karterados. On the way the taxi driver said to me, So, are you having a good time in Santorini? Definitely, I said. If only he knew, I thought and smiled to myself.