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Kea: Swimming, DSL Problems and More

Pisses Beach, Kea, GreeceIt's my 10th day here on Kea and I am not crazy yet. Almost, but not completely. I spent the last 5 hours on the phone trying to get my DSL working and hopefully I have not screwed up my computer entirely with all the changes I made just to find out that the problem was in the phone line. The cool thing is that everyone speaks English and they don't keep you on hold nearly as long as they do when you call for assistance in the USA.(Or India or wherever the help-desk is). I forgot to mention that I am on the island of Kea and maybe one of 3 people in the village who have DSL. The connection when it works is decent much of the time. Last night I caught the last half inning of the Mets game in Colorado. It's a nice feeling to know that if the Mets are in the World Series all I have to do is stay up until 3 am and watch it on a 2 inch box on my 15 inch computer screen.

Galiskari Beach, KeaI made a vow to not go back to one beach until I have visited them all this summer. The first beach we went to was Galiskari which is in the bay and I never go to because they say there is sewage there. Not anymore. The built a waste-treatment facility that purifies the material and then pumps it far out to sea and Galiskari is beautiful now. The next day we went to Otzias because my high school friend Peter Poulides and his family were there. That seems like agesago though it was just on Tuesday of last week. After that I went to Xyla where Aglaia Kremezi was having a picnic on the beach with her group from Keartisinal. You have to drive a long dirt road to get to Xyla but when I got there Kostis Marulis boat Soultana was sitting in the bay and as I got out of my car he and Aglaia's husband Kostas handed me a glass of wine and a piece of grilled octopus before I began my new routine of swimming a half a mile back and forth across the bay, a routine that lasted exactly once.

Orchos beach, KeaThe next day the weather changed and got very windy and we went to the other side of the island to Orchos where the waves were so big that Andrea could not get into the sea. But while I bobbed around she organized all the stuff in the car, guidebooks, maps, snorkeling equipment etc. Saturday I worked all day at home because that's when all the Athenians come and the beaches are crowded and if you leave the village you may not find a parking space within a half mile when you get back. I put together a new Myspace page for my old band The Dads. (see )  Saturday night my friend Elias came and we were eating a drinking at Rolandos all night while a big wedding was going on in the village square below us. The next day we went to Pisses Beach (Yes that's the real name) for lunch at Akroyiali Taverna, run but a nice older woman and her daughter and then they left to catch the 7pm ferry back to Athens and Andrea and I had a nice swim. The wind was blowing like mad but the bay was really calm. Its funny because I spend so much time on the computer and I end up in automatic pilot but as soon as I dive into the sea I snap out of it and feel alive once again.

VleetaAmarandi went off to Hyphenology, a summer program for English-speaking high school kids in Sigri, Lesvos. She called me up excited because one of the kids is the son of Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys. She was watching the Euro-cup with the other kids last night at my favorite fish taverna in Sigri, one of my favorite places in Greece. I am here in Kea with Andrea and my mother-in-law who is suffering from vertigo and a compulsion to make sure I have everything I want which drives me crazy.

Kostis and Marcie at Red Tractor Farms are opening their new guesthouse on Friday but as of today they still have no electricity, gas or water. But they feel confident that everything will be turned on by Wednesday even though this has been going on for weeks. The rooms are beautiful and anyone will be happy there.

Andrea just came in and showed me 4 eggs that she had gotten from the supermarket. They were perfectly round balls of bright orange yoke and the shells were so hard she had to hit them several times to open them. The last eggs I got in the states the shells were so brittle they practically fell apart in my hands and the eggs inside bore no resemblance to the Greek eggs. Did you ever get the feeling that American food lacks mineral content? I have been eating vleeta (boiled wild greens-domesticated actually but originally wild) every night at Rolandos and my finger and toe nails are so hard I can barely cut them (or chew them).

BJBJ our skipper friend who sails the Aegean each summer (See showed up one night with a group from Oregon and reserved a big table at Rolandos and we ate and drank and talked all night. One of the women was Greek-American, a stock-broker named Nikki who had never been to Greece, traveling with her kids, including her son who said he was never going to leave Greece. She sang these old blues standards with a voice like Billie Holiday while BJ played trumpet using a wine glass. You would have sworn it was a trumpet. Even Rolando sang some of his greatest hits and he and Nikki danced on the patio. I could see it was one of those nights of epiphany for her where you feel for the first time in a long time (maybe your life) that this is where you belong, in this place at this exact moment. It was one of those nights where everyone seemed to fall in love with each other. In the end they got a taxi back to the harbor and sailed away the next day. But since then every night Rolando and I have reminded each other of beautiful Nikki singing and dancing and looking so happy.

OK. Connection working. Gotta answer e-mails.

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