Published: August 25th 2009August 28th 2009
It’s back again Dribblers!
A Sort of Homecoming is my alternative way to tell a story and it only happens when I go back to where my father was born. Greece and more specifically Kithira, a tiny island off the Peloponnese coast. It is a special place for not only Greeks but for the backpacker who is looking for traditional Greece. In most Greek islands, real island life has faded into the distance - Not here. Whilst the popular islands have given way to the drunken European package tourist - Kithira is slowly adapting to the modern way of life. The native population is dying off with their next generation coming back every summer from either Athens or Australia. It’s the island every island hopper dreams about. There is even an old Greek song to prove it.
My dad left Kithira for Australia when he was 9 - on the back of my grandfather’s hard earned Australian 1930-40’s Pound. He came over with my uncle in 1947 (my grandmother arrived later). On the island, times were tough and the old school way of life was noticeable during my first visit in 1995. Coming back now for the 4th time in
2009, Little Australia (as the island is know to locals - due to the mass departure of locals to Australia after WWII) has been rejuvenated to appear prosperous whilst sticking to its traditions. As the old brigade pass on, their children have kept alive the islands traditions by rebuilding their families homes. What this has done is create a village type atmosphere but for how much longer…
For me it’s different than when I’m a backpacker. I don’t have to fork out large amounts of money to pay for accommodation - we’ve got a house. There is no cheap eats but dad’ll cover that. Basically no public transport - but dads got a car. So it’s not the budget destination. This is probably why it holds a niche market of desperately seeking alternative island hoppers.
We have a place in the heart of the island Mitata, which every year holds a Wine Festival. Our house is right in the thick of things. I also have two great aunties now in there 80’s. It was also the meeting spot with my dad, sister and her boyfriend David.
Each story will be given in a multiple-choice option, open ended,
T/F or Yes/No answer.
Are you ready for the fun and games? Here we go with Question 1:
1) When thedribblemans father Peter was being dropped off at Sydney airport to go to Greece. What was one of the last questions he asked his daughter?
a) Struth I can’t wait to see my son again. Did he tell you what date he was coming?
b) Hmmm did I remember to renew my passport?
c) Do you think Drew is gay?
ANSWER: (C) - For those of you that were not from JP2 I’ll explain this one. Days before meeting up with my family I went to the Pink Palace hostel in Corfu island Greece. There I fell over a pink toga during toga night and landed on my wrist causing my wrist to become limp. Since this moment rumours have been running rampant by a proportion of the Prineas family. Leading the way is thedribblemans father. So C is definitely the answer… To the question. C is the answer to the question.
2) Cambodia was the intended first meeting between thedribbleman, his sister and David her boyfriend for JP4. Things didn’t pan out that way. What nickname
was David going to get throughout this blog if that eventuated?
a) PBL - Potential Brother in law
b) Mr Prineas as since he is marrying a Greek he might as well give into reality. Once you marry a Greek - Always a Greek.
c) The man who talk to much about Music (or TMWTT-MAM)
ANSWER: Whilst he is looking good potential he still needs to prove himself to me the brother. So if he wants a share in the company he needs to satisfy the directors before he can ask the big boss Mr Peter Prineas the CEO of the establishment. I think the CEO is pretty convinced but this is his last true big test. 12-24 months traveling the world with my sister. Is PBL up to it? (A)
3) Could all this happen just to get to the island? Y/N
Flight from Vienna delayed by 2 hours 45 minutes / Arrive in Athens thinking no Greek ferry could leave on time / I arrive to Piraeus port 40 minutes late to see the ferry to Kithira off in the distance / The island is so far off the beaten track that there is
not another ferry for 4 days / Check into an Athens hostel and after being use to seeing and boiling water with kettles on stoves (throughout Asia) he takes the electric kettle and proceeds to melt the kettle on the stove … Melt! / catches a 7 hour bus to a town Neapoli to find the next ferry to Kithira is 14 hours away / On that bus the guy behind him takes his shoes off and a stench stays permanently in the back of his nostrils. An awakening experience to say the least / Walk from hotel to hotel since 10am is the next ferry only to find that all the hotels are booked out because of some Romanian, Turkish, Greek festival with 200 people / Calls his dad to inform the delay and he says “Well its okay you’ve done it before its not like its something new”… not helping dad / With no bed it is a sleep out on a concrete floor at the little port / on the back of no sleep from the previous night in a sweatshop Vienna hostel, I start hallucinating thinking two truck tyres are making out and inside a boat
that’s docked, a group of ropes and masts are socialising?
ANSWER: Yes - Tough day… tough 2 days. I can’t believe I melted a kettle.
4) As with above Drew had a horrible 48 hours to get to the island - During his 14 hour sleep out what was the process to get through the challenge the world set upon him? Please put stages in order.
a) Talk to ones self on how stuffed up this situation is
b) cheeky smiles
c) seriously pissed off
d) attempted creative writing
g) relief its almost over (usually an hour before sunrise)
h) when will this end (usually half hour after sunrise)
i) sleep on a deck chair
j) 14 hours that was nothing
ANSWER: It’s all in order
5) Thedribbleman has had so much attention this trip because he is different to the locals. Blending in has become a craving - Since he is half Greek has blending in become a reality? Y/N
ANSWER: No I still look out of place.
6) 5 years back upon my return to the island for the second year in a row his relatives showed extreme disappointment that I
showed no improvement with my Greek. What level is my Greek now? Open ended answers allowed
ANSWER: If you put anything along the lines of shithouse than you are spot on.
7) What tools has thedribbleman brought with him to learn Greek but in the end failed to use properly? Name the odd one out.
a) CD giving lessons x2
b) a pocket sized phrase book
c) Greek lessons downloaded from podcasts
d) a Teach Yourself Greek book for beginners taken from some hotel that he didn’t stay at in Turkey?
e) His own private tutor throughout the past 10 months.
ANSWER: e) - that would have been nice to have
8) How many times in the first 24hours did thedribblemans father walk onto his bed to do some work on the window whilst he was sleeping?
d) lost count
ANSWER: (c) Wha? What’s that noise…. Oh…
9) Last time Eleni’s PBL clogged up the toilet by incorrectly distributing the toilet paper after use. What’s the recommended ratio used and advised by thedribbleman?
c) 25/75 bowl/bin
ANSWER: (d) - and not
Wine festival poster
Has not changed in 6 years aprat from date
a point 0.01 more or less.
10) Thedribbleman met one of his second cousins that he never knew existed. When he went out for some Kithirian nightlife with him. What did he say was his biggest fear about picking up here?
a) that he could end up making out with a second cousin.
b) That if he finds ‘the one’ than he will have to learn Greek
c) Waking up the next morning to find a woman with feta thighs
11) Who else did Drew go party with in the very tranquil island of Kithira?
a) His other 2nd cousin
b) His dads cousins grandson who’s great grandmother christened my dad which has got nothing to do with the linkage except the first part which would actually make him my nephew and me his uncle… in a kind of way
c) His 10 year old 3rd cousin. It doesn’t matter how old you are you can party till the morning.
ANSWER: b) Yeah its not a party island just a few drinks. If that leads to a desired level for more alcohol than its the unfortunate comical sight of being drunk in a nightclub
where half the patrons are underage. It’s a paedophiles paradise.
11) Has the dribblemans father resigned himself to the fact that his son my never settle down.
b) No! waiting, waiting… Yes!
c) Yes, no to maybe
ANSWER: I think its (c) but the maybe is holding on by hope at this stage.
12) Thedribbleman had a dinner date with his 87 year old great aunty. Did drew feel awkward? Y/N
ANSWER: No, I felt like crap. My lack of Greek was really depressing this time round. There were some awkward silences. Dad left me out to dry.
13) When thedribblemans family invited for dinner one of the organiser of the wine festival thedribbleman opened his big mouth with which comment?
a) “Oh man the wine is some of the worst wine you will ever have. It’s terrible.” Said with the organiser blindsided on the left.
b) “You know since its my sisters birthday on the night shouldn’t we get her to do a solo dance-a-thon in the middle of the circle.”
c) “Do you find it difficult going to a hairdresser when the hairdresser is bold? You know, what
would he know?
ANSWER: a) although the wine did improve this year. I was told a few got rejected in a taste test. Could that have been on the back of my big mouth? It’s 5euro entry for as much wine as you can handle. No preservatives so it gets to your head a lot quicker.
14) Previously the wine festival stage was slightly to the right of the entrance of our house. With the dance floor right in front of our house. Where was it this time?
a) In another village
b) Stage, right in front of us and dancefloor one foot step from our house
c) Moved to another island meaning we had to take a return ferry for the evening
15) Did my two great aunties put on the usual guilt trip on me to return upon my farewells to them? Y/N
ANSWER: Yes they do it big time!
16) In Athens half way through walking around the new Acropolis Museum what did he realise was his ruined fetish?
a) Sculptured boobies fetish
b) Sculptured hair fetish
c) Sculptured foot fetish
ANSWER: c) weird isn’t it?
Hair is good too… and the booby but c) is universal it can be male, female even an animal.
The brand new museum is 1euro entry till the end of 2009. No photos are allowed inside but you can get closer to the articles. You can get right up to the statues of the porch of Caryotids previously they were behind a glass door, now its 360 degree view, you can see the tied back hair which I only knew about from the British Museum.
The building the museum is in is so good, it almost out does its purpose. It allows natural sunlight to come in preventing shadows affecting the statues. The views from the top level of the Acropolis are worth it too.
17) Does thedribbleman think that Greece is overcrowding in summer Y/N
ANSWER: Yes - I think next time if I return to Greece it will be in May. August is too many people even in Kithira. After 10 months traveling I needed a break and out of season Kithira is a quiet place with hardly anyone around. In the summer with word getting around (Even Lonely Planet has it highlighted on its map
page) it’s busy. But if I were a backpacker traveling with someone else than its an ideal destination. For an individual traveler it’s too expensive maybe next time I will invite friends to join me..?
There are more photos below