When you wake up from an afternoon nap on the day of arrival there is a feeling of disorientation that can feel a little unpleasant but only lasts a moment before you realize "Holy shit. I'm back in Greece!" It has
been years since I have stayed at the Hotel Attalos. We inherited an apartment in Kypseli and no longer needed to
stay in hotels. But this spring Andrea's father died and his wife moved into our apartment and we are now hotel people again. I like it. I like going to the rooftop bar and meeting people who came to Greece because of my website. I like when people want to have their picture taken with me or ask me to autograph the pages they have printed out from my website and have been carrying around Greece in a looseleaf binder. Isn't that why I was a musician? Being a writer is so much easier and I can do it from home.
Yes there is some travel involved but thats OK too.
I go up to the rooftop bar where Aliki from Dolphin Hellas Travel is having a drink with Christian
Cameron, an American novelist who last year put on a re-enactment
of the Battle of Marathon to celebrate the 2500thanniversary. It was an important battle. Had the Greeks not beaten the Persians there and defeated the Persian fleet in the Battle of Salamina, there would never have been a Golden Age of Athens. Think about that when you ask why we should bail out Greece. When the Greeks were the front lines of Western Civilization they held their ground. If they hadn't we might all be Persians and you would be reading this in farsi.
Next year Cameron plans to do a re-anactment on Lesvos, perhaps the seige of the fortress at Molyvos by Achilles. He just returned from two weeks there and wants to buy a house on the island. Aliki and the Cameron family take their leave, heading for Thespidos Taverna in the Plaka just as Corinne Chandler of Athens
Living joins us. She is on her way to a gay club in Gazi. No, she is not gay. She is married to our friend Panos and he is not gay. But she is a dancer and many of her friends are gay. I would go with her to the club because it sounds like fun, but in the last few months three people have accused me of being gay and two of them are in my family. My daughter says gay men like me for some reason so therefore I must be somewhat gay and not know it, as if playing on the women's
rugby team makes her an expert. I can't help it if gay men like me. Babies like me. Cats like me too. That does not make me a baby or a cat. The problem is that the other two people who think I am gay are my ex-girlfriend and my wife. But what do they know?
It does not matter. Gay or not Andrea is not going to allow me to run off to a gay club with Corinne after I have invited a dozen people to meet us at Taverna Psiri for dinner. Tony has just arrived on the Attalos
rooftop with his luggage. He was on the ferry from Sifnos and met two girls who were coming here by taxi with New
Jersey John, who works with George the Famous Taxi Driver. John is everybody's favorite because when they arrive in Greece and meet him at the airport they think maybe they got on the wrong flight and are in Newark. He speaks English without a Greek accent in perfect New Jerseyan English. But if you ask him what part of the States he is from he will look at you as if you are crazy and tell you he is not American. I don't think he realizes how American he sounds. He picked us up from the airport too. He's
usually the first and last friend I see when I come to Greece. We invite the two American girls to come with us to the taverna too. Psiri is jumping for a Sunday night. Taverna Psiri has plenty of free tables and it is not hard to put several together to make room for a dozen or so people. Everyone converges on the restaurant at the same time, all of us fashionably fifteen minutes late. We order a million appetisors, some fried kalamari and koutsomoures and 2 kilos of paidakia and several carafes
of wine which we drank mixed with soda until Yiannis Lambrou shows up with several bottles of Methymnaos wine from Lesvos which I never mix with soda because it is organic and does not give me a hangover no matter how much I drink, and because he would kill me if he saw me mixing it with soda, since he makes it. The rest of
the evening is a blur. The next thing I knew I was in bed, wide awake, trying to estimate what time it is in North Carolina and how many hours it will be before I am actually tired. I finally give up and take one of Andrea's sleeping pills which kicks in just about the time Amarandi starts texting me and yelling at me from the balcony to wake up because she wants to go to the restaurant at the meat market.
So a typical first day.