Well, from here on in, I’m going to pretend that the other lady in my hostel room has early-onset dementia. I think it’s the only way that it’ll make her bearable: and to be fair, it might be slightly true. I literally just told her that I hate that I have to have the same conversation every day: where have I been, where am I going, what do I do? She then proceeded to ask me those questions and give me life advice. Haha yes, I’m easily irritated: but I’m also not at all interested in divulging my life story to the average of 30 new people I meet each day. I’ll have to start pretending I don’t speak English again..
Anyway, now that that particular bit of rage is out! I finally left Plakias today, after being there for over a week. My foot has returned to its regular size, and my sunburn is thoroughly renewed. The last few days have been verrrry chilled, and mainly focused around dinner time. Each evening, I went out with the people from the hostel for an epic feast: I swear, the generosity of the Greeks is unparalleled. For ten euro, you’ll eat five courses, and they’ll just keep bringing more! Tonight for example, I met my friend Louise and we went out for dinner in Iraklion, at a restaurant suggested to me by two new German friends (a mathematician and a chemical engineer—both thoroughly hilarious). (And in an incidentally hilarious moment and a second set of brackets, while at dinner with said Germans and a whole lot more last night, I was talking to someone and commenting how many Germans there are here on Crete. She said that yes, it’s because the Germans took it over during WW2, and then in the 60s the German hippies took it over. I said “ah, the less terrifying form of German takeover!”—and then realised that every German at the table was looking at me. “Uh…. In the least offensive way of course..!”)
Louise and I turned up at this place and were quickly the only guests (we must have smelled appalling?!). We ordered a ridiculous amount of food, including tzatziki with our bread to start, a Greek salad for Louise, and both grilled vegetables and an omelette for me, as I hadn’t yet eaten today. The omelette arrived and looked amazing, but I took a bite and swore it tasted like fish. Louise had a go and found the same, so we called the waiter over and asked if there was fish in it. He said that no, there’s no fish served there. Louise then went, “well, she’s vegetarian, you see” as if it were some sort of disease, and the waiter refused to hear our protests as he went off to get a fresh omelette. This is after he’d already brought as a second round of bread for free, and a complementary bottle of raki.
The waiter then returned with a new omelette and a new bottle of raki, so that it would be cold. It truly was a mountain of food in front of us! We finally made it through as much as we possibly could. And then the guy brought a plate of fruit. And then “it is like sex” (he said) some warm, gooey chocolate pudding. All free of charge, of course! Oh my goodness. In the end, the bill was only ~AU$30 in total. Freaking ridiculous. I feel like every time I go to a restaurant, I cost them money! And the food is so good!! And there are so many vegetarian options (after the vegetarian desert that was Russia)!! Amazing.
Tomorrow I’m off to see the Palace of Knossos—very touristy, but I can’t exactly be on Crete and not go to see it—then at 2am tomorrow night I’m flying to Istanbul for the conference. It should be… interesting. The facebook group feed has been full of a mix of intelligent people introducing themselves and many more people who don’t seem to know how to use google. “What is the best sustainable way to get from the airport?” (Walking?) “Should I bring euros or Turkish lira?” (Euros aren’t the currency of Turkey) “Should I bring my laptop to Turkey?” (It depends on whether you want to use your laptop, I’d say). We’ll see. Either way, I’m sure it’ll look good on the CV.
Oh! And before I forget! I am absolutely drowning in Russians! One of the most incongruous things I saw today was a sign saying шубы, that is, fur coats. I couldn’t help but wonder if there are a lot of Russians that come to Greece to buy fur coats (!!). A lot of the signs at this end of the island are in Greek and Russian, and you certainly hear a lot of Russian, walking around. Is this normal?! Have Russians been around me my whole life and I’ve just never noticed before?!?
In other news, I’ve finally started learning Spanish. It is muy bueno )
My hostel in Iraklion/Heraklion, Crete: Manos Studios