Confessions of a GreeceTravel-Phones Delivery Guy

Dorian Kokas: Ex-cell phone delivery guy

The life of a Greecetravel-Phones courier is quite, um, well, interesting to say the least. It's a welcome change from my two professions; it's what I call a v.v. or vocational vacation. You meet so many different people. Even hanging around Tom's place you meet so many important people associated with education in Greece :  Hellenic American Union, University of Indianapolis, A.C.S. etc.. I'll never forget my first phone delivery, the infamous return from Methana. (I still haven't been paid for that concert)

The BOOOOOs from the boats coincided with the BOOOOOOs from the audience during my first song. All they wanted to hear was traditional Greek village music and especially the song  to papaki paei sthn potamia  which means "the duck goes to the riverside." I had never even heard of it but later acertained that it was the equivalent of "Mary had a little lamb" revised with a beat for grown ups or for people who like ducks.

The last boat had left for Pireaus before I could finish my last song which was "She'll be coming 'round the mountain" and which was close enough to the duck song. Now theres nothing wrong with sleeping over and catching the next boat the day after the gig except that the day after was Monday, the day of my first cell phone phone delivery! No I couldn't let Tom down, not on the first delivery. Damn, how do get to Athens on a cold, dark, drizzly night on a port in the middle of nowhere, I asked myself. The solution seemed simple: hitchike. Hitchike? There were only dark rugged mountains connecting Methana to the somewhat beginnings of a mainland  with an unpaved road wide enough for a motorbike; who would pick me up? I was determined to try, for GreeceTravel-phones, for Tom, for my will power as a man, to do battle with coyotes, wolves etc... for the great Olympic Spirit.....for my pay check.

Sitting on a large rock on the side of the road at 3am. amid scary, four legged creature sounds, I thought I would never get picked up. Not one car had passed since 12:30 am. And then, oh great Zeus above, two yellow lights were approaching me from a mile back. It could either be a truck or a monster I thought. It was an old, beat up truck packed with ducks being transported to Monastiraki. With each bump on the road a few of them would fall out quacking all over the place. The truck's transistor W.W.2 radio was blaring with, of course, to papaki paei stin potamia. I jumped out into the middle of the road and he stopped; he was an old villager with 5 bottles of retsina in the back seat together with a few extra ducks.

"Where are you going," I could barely discern over the blaring song and the quack quacks. Where am I going? What a question I thought. Yeah to meet an old coyote friend of mine who.......
"Athens," I replied.
"Well jump in, I'm going to Athens too." Where else I thought, to feed the hungry coyotes?
"What time do you have to be there?
"10 am. and it's now 7, can we make it?"  A few more bumps hit, a few more ducks fall off.
"Why the rush?"
"I'm working for GreeceTrave- Phones and have to deliver a state of the art new cellular, mobile phone which works on a system whereby one can communicate with anyone in Greece and to their loved ones in America, as the phones brought by them to Greece do not work here. You see, as in videos brought here from there, the phones are incompatible as the wave length of......"
I had rehearsed this well. He reached back and took a bottle of retsina and looked at me. I think he was suspicious.
"Are you on some kind know, what young people take ? What's all this about nincompootabi.......never mind. Are you a spy or something? What's your name?"
"Dorian," signing my death sentence.
"That's not a Greek name (he was wrong) and you don't look Greek, fair skin, strange accent etc....and for you to be in such a rush to deliver some electronic device from America and coming from Methana that no one even knows in the middle of the night, Hell this must be important. Well hold on, here we go!" Pedal pressed to the floor, ducks flying out in all directions, we were rocketing towards Athens.

I reached the point of delivery at the hotel; it was exactly 9.55. I made it. Thanking the driver in his now half full truck of ducks and brushing whatever feathers I could get off me, phone and instructions in hand, I walked in. Matt would be proud of me; I was proud of myself. I was as determined to hand in that phone as I was to hand in my MA dissertation. The dialogue with the receptionist went like this:

"Good morning, I'm from Greece Travel Phones. I believe you have a guest arriving at 10:00 ,  her name is Sandra Wutime."
"Where did you come from? You have feathers in your collar. Some kind of tribe or...... well any way, yes we do have a miss Wutime departing from Arizona at 11:20 arriving here at 10:am on the 23rd."
"O.K. it's 10 am now, where is she?"
"Today is the 22nd sir. She's coming in tomorrow."
"NO NO NO! After all I've been through, after all, all the ......."
"And please sir, when you come in tomorrow, try to remove the feathers first. We run a respectable hotel here."

So when you're lying on some beach on some lovely Greek island sipping your coctail and talking to your loved ones in America on a Greece Travel phone,  I don't think you will appreciate the poor soul who battled coyotes, rain, isolation, yes and even ducks, to bring you this luxury. Oh and please when you order your phone, give the ARRIVAL time and not the DEPARTURE.
Until then,
to papaki paei sthn potamia
(the ducks go in the river)

Dorian Kokas

"Stay in-touch"

38 Voulis Street
Athens 10557
30 693 9162014


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