Saturday started late, after a night out on the town for St. Patrick’s Day. That is not a big Greek holiday, so we largely had the bars to ourselves. We started off with wee Irish car bombs at Karen’s, and ended up at Rengas for some traditional Greek music and dancing. It seemed fitting.
Slept in late, and while I deny that I might have had a hangover, I did have a headache and a strange aversion to sunlight. Naturally, the bright Aegean sun was at its finest when I stumbled out of the house for a souvlaki (perfect food for those days when you wake up with not-a-hangover) with Kathryn and Pook. Maria joined us a little blearily on the wall overlooking the seafront, and we finished our souvlaki and headed out for a morning of shoe shopping.
Shopping is not a good cure for hangovers. We were all dehydrated and a little wobbly, but we pulled together a good effort and ended up with new boots, new flats, and new trainers among the four of us. Maria dropped out first, I shortly after, and rumour has it that Kathryn left five minutes after I did. This round goes to Pook, who was not hungover in the least due to being both the youngest and the most responsible in our quartet at Rengas, 😉
I left swearing I was going home to nap in my beautifully dim room, but on my way back I spotted some wildflowers growing out of a window sill and then a tree covered with fat pink blossoms, so I dropped off my boots and grabbed my camera and set off to shoot.
I wandered all over the village, down every road I could find that I hadn’t been down before. Then I headed straight to the darkroom to develop the film and print a few contact sheets. It was lovely in the darkroom, quiet and meditative. I emerged into the late afternoon sun, and headed to the lounge to grab some light reading.
An hour later, John and I were hauling a table up to my apartment over the balcony with a thin white rope. It was rather like a Fellini movie, somehow.
An hour after that, I finally went into my painting studio to paint all my canvases black, as per Jane’s instructions. It was a little more specific than that, but the running joke in my studio is that every time Jane comes in, she tells me to glaze everything down very dark, then to bring the values back up. The problem is, my attention wanders, so what ends up happening is I have a studio full of murky canvases, all of which I usually forget to add any more paint to.
This is why I had to return for another semester.
I spent the evening in my room, reading books and drinking loads of water and sitting close to the space heater. Around ten pm, I texted Josh to say goodnight, then ended up reading for another three hours. I was restless and a little lonely and couldn’t sleep, so I decided to try calling my mother again (I’d been having a hard time getting through to the states on my phone card). I opened my balcony doors to get some fresh air, and Maria and Kathryn were passing in the courtyard below, “Come to Spiti!” they cried, and I gave a little cheer, because where else are your friends going to be right underneath your window in the middle of the night, right when you need a drink and some company?
I did finally get through to Mom, then headed to Spiti, then headed to bed. I flatly refused to emerge from my cocoon of wool blankets this morning until I was positive it was noon – I knew I had to do my handwashing and was looking for excuses to get out of it.
But I did finally get out of bed, and cleaned my flat for a couple of hours, hanging curtains and organizing things on my new table, and just generally putzing around until I had to escape the apartment, so I headed out to find food and then go to my painting studio.
The best things to eat in Greece are the simplest – olives, good cheeses, good wine, good bread. John calls this a peasant’s lunch, or a farmer’s lunch, and various permutations of it are how I largely eat when I’m here (save for the hangover souvlakis). Tasso’s convenience store is open on the waterfront, even on Sundays, and so I headed there for quick provisions, and then to the bakery.
I decided to take pictures today though, because we had a huge taverna dinner on Friday that I MEANT to document, but I was too busy stuffing my face with hummus and skorthalia (garlicky potato dip) and octopus and spinach-rice and….um…I think that might have been it. And about four glasses of wine, but I lost count because I was sitting by Kathryn and she has that effect on people.
So today’s lunch – olives from a jar, terrible convenience store salami that I ended up feeding to my favourite neighborhood cat, mavro bread from Rangoussis, feta cheese, and tzatziki. Huge lunch, and just right for spending three hours in the painting studio, then three hours in the darkroom today.
I’ve been busy.