It has been a good day. We have got a lot done. New plants planted in the garden. A new shelf put up in one of the bath rooms. The timer for the automatic watering system has been changed. It had been broken by the cold and ice of last winter. The lawns have been mowed.
We drive into town for dinner. Bakaliko is one of the few tavernas on the island that has been open the whole winter. We take a table inside. It is too chilly tonight to sit outside by the water front. Only a few tables are taken. It is 19.30 in the evening, our normal dinner time but much too early for most Greeks. We eat lamb and pork loin. Lamb and pork loin done the Greek way. Bread and olives. Half a kilo of red wine. After an hour, the locals start to fill up the taverna.
Over in the harbor, we see the ferry leaving for the mainland. The last link to the outer world is cut for the day.
Greek wines have improved a lot over the years. Bakaliko’s red wine is good. It is served in the traditional way, in small glasses from an aluminium carafe. Traditionally, you order wines in kilos, not in liters. There are ash trays on the tables. Some people smoke. Yes, this is inside and, yes, it is illegal to smoke inside. But the laws were made in Athens, not on Skiathos. Let the Athenians abstain from smoking. On Skiathos, Skiathians do what Skiathians want to do.
It is getting dark outside. More cars are being parked outside the taverna. More people enter. Lots of hugs and kisses on the cheek. This is a small island and most people know most people. The noise level is increasing. The waiters are running around, serving more food. No one is in a hurry to leave. Another glass of wine. One more ouzo. Another cigarette. One more story to tell. Crisis or no crisis, Greeks know how to enjoy life.
We are the first ones to leave the taverna this evening. We drive the four kilometers on the coast road back to our house on an empty road. This is the calm before the storm. In a week’s time, the first charter flights of the season will arrive to the island. Soon, the tourist invasion starts and the island is changing from its sleepy winter face to the busy summer mode.
One more week of peace….