August 8, 2009

Summer in the City - Where's Kostas?

This exchange is actually the third of my university career - the first was a humid 5 weeks in Hong Kong in July 2007, and the second in freezing Busan, South Korea, in January 2008. Getting overseas once a year with the help of some generous scholarships and grants has benefited not only my academic record but also contributed a lot to personal growth. I now have a healthy appreciation for Asian food and every time I go to Chinatown I visit either Master Huang for won ton noodle soup, or Kim's BBQ for bibimbap, ordered in my dodgy Korean and served as a suitably large portion.

I also have an extra 160 friends on Facebook, which apart from helping me look popular, also means travel buddies (and occasionally, a free bed)! Greece was one such occasion to call in support, having spent enough time alone in Italy, and Wendy was ready to take on the islands with me. We had a shared bathroom in Hong Kong and I had a birthday coming up, so with the help of another 4 girls, we had a sisterhood-of-the-travelling-pants in the making.

First stop was 'camping' on Mykonos, affectionately remembered as The Isle of the Drunken Bikini Model. We had 3 girls to a bed to save money for gyros, which would later become a staple meal. I maintain that this was a sensible decision, because it meant plenty of girly conversation (I have been sworn to secrecy) and because the Gyros/Kebab contains all 5 food groups.

Our room was not actually a tent, but it did have its fair share of flying bugs. We arrived around 3pm, and refrained from joining the tabletop dancing in favour of a little Vitamin D therapy. We hit the town on our second night, where I was appauled at the provocative dance moves of the small gypsy boy who tried to sell me glowsticks in a club. During the day, we wound our way through the whitewashed souvenir shops and dined on frozen seafood. This was Greece, but not the romantic villagey Greece I had hoped for.

Fortunately, Santorini came to the rescue. A treasure trove of Australians and Greek people who's family had moved to Australia or those who had returned from Australia. There was the chef in our adopted restaurant, giving us free wine even on the nights we didn't eat there. There was the scooter guy, who Marlene married in the Kebab shop one night with a plastic ring. And there was Kostas. We knew we would find him somewhere in Greece, but did not expect him to be Russian.

I bartered our quadbikes down using a little Greek I had prepared earlier, and for less than 2 meals at McDonalds we had free roam of the island - that is until the battery on one bike died and I was forced to kickstart it for the next 2 days. And yet the wind was in our hair, the roads were winding and the beaches were ours. I ordered a Nescafe Frappe and laid back in my sunlounge and decided life was rather pleasant.

Rather than recount our 3am ferry trips and list every kebab we ate in ascending order of deliciousness, I shall leave you with some photos, as is my way of escaping typer's elbow. I will say though that I had an amazing birthday in Athens, joined by a gorgeous boy who flew all the way from Scotland for the occasion, made us Pina Coladas and then took me to Corfu to recover from the whole ordeal.

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1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to visit Greece. Your photos are quite great- unique subject angles. Keep having fun!