Uri and Baby Doll


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Europe » Greece » South Aegean » Mykonos
August 30th 2016
Published: June 12th 2017
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First stop this morning is the Rarity Gallery, which is a modern art gallery in the middle of Mykonos town. Trip Advisor rates this as the number one attraction in Mykonos. This seems a bit strange. I would have thought that most people would probably come to Mykonos to go to the beaches or to Delos rather than some obscure art gallery. I wonder how Trip Advisor comes up with its ratings. We decide that the Rarity Gallery is probably worth a quick peek given that it's free and not too far from the hotel. The gallery is very small. It only has about thirty exhibits, and they are housed in three rooms on one level. All the exhibits are by contemporary artists. As we go into the first room we both notice a very serious looking security guard sitting in the corner in the second room. We are careful not to touch anything in case he sees us. It is only when we go into the second room that we realise that he is actually a statue. There are two paintings of Venice by the same artist. Parts of these are raised off the page to give a weird three dimensional effect. It is brilliant, but it does my head in. Issy says that it does hers in as well. As you move across the room it looks like the buildings are moving with you. If you don't keep focussing on the paintings, you lose perspective, and the whole thing starts to do your head in again. There is another piece made entirely of drinking straws. Another is a hologram of Barbie, and as you move across the room she changes from wearing a full set of clothes to only wearing her underwear.

Next stop is the Mykonos Archaeological Museum, which is almost next to the hotel. Most of the exhibits are relics excavated from the purification pit at Delos. This is the pit that graves and other artefacts were buried in when the Ancient Greek rulers decided that the island needed to be purified. The relics include headstones, jewellery and pots. The museum uses mirrors to give the impression that it is much larger than it really is. This also does my head in. My head is getting done in a lot this morning.

We get some rolls from the bakery and eat them on the terrace outside our room. I read a magazie article about Petros the Pelican, who is the island's mascot. Pelicans are not usually found on Mykonos. Petros was injured, and was rescued by a fisherman from Mykonos in 1958. He quickly became a minor celebrity and was treated just like any other human Mykonos resident. One day he decided to fly over to the neighbouring island of Tinos. The people of Tinos know all about his notoriety, and couldn't believe their luck. They caught him, and claimed him as their own, as they said that he'd migrated there voluntarily. This led to the one and only court case in Greece's history over the custody of a bird. When the court found in Mykonos' favour, Petros was welcomed back with a massive party, with music, dancing and a public feast.

This afternoon we have booked to go on a sunset cruise. This leaves from the town of Ornos, which is a few kilometres south of Mykonos town. We get off the bus and walk down to Ornos Beach. It is wall to wall sun lounges and beach umbrellas, nearly all of which appear to be occupied, and there is loud music blaring everywhere. This looks like party central. We had heard that everything is very expensive here. We go into a bar on the beachfront and order two cans of soft drink. I faint when I get the bill. I think that everyone who comes here must bring their own drinks. Either that or the people here collectively own most of Europe.

We walk along to the end of the beach and meet the lady from the cruise company. There look to be about a dozen other people waiting for the cruise. As we wait, a very expensive looking convertible screeches to a stop next to the dock, and a stunning blonde who looks to be about twenty five gets out. She looks like a slimmer version of Scarlett Johannson. The car is driven by a large portly man who looks like he is about fifty, who we assume is her father. He goes off to park the car and then joins his daughter on the dock. It seems that they will also be going on the cruise. He starts talking very loudly on his phone. It seems that he is trying to get the person on the other end of the phone to bring him some cash so that he can pay for the cruise. He talks in English with a thick Russian sounding accent. He is not very pleased with the person he is talking to. He tells them that the next time he is in Hungary he will remember that they didn't bring him the cash he needed. If I was the person on the other end of the phone I think that I would be a bit worried right now. He manages to convince the lady from the cruise company to let them come on the cruise and pay for it tomorrow. The tender comes to the dock and ferries everyone out to our boat, which is a large catamaran.

We settle in. The couple from the expensive looking convertible disappear below deck. A few minutes later they both reappear. She is wearing a red bikini, and he is wearing a pair of white shorts, sunglasses and a ship's captains hat. He is carrying two glasses of champagne and two cigarettes. He gives one of the glasses of champagne and one of the cigarettes to his daughter. He talks to his daughter very loudly in Russian and this drowns out all other conversation. He calls her Baby Doll, and she calls him 'baby'. It seems that maybe she is not his daughter after all. He tells everyone that his name is Uri. and that he is originally from Russia, but now lives in Israel. The captain starts a safety briefing. He says that smoking is not allowed on board while the boat is moving. Uri and Baby Doll are already mid-cigarette. Uri is not very pleased that they are not allowed to smoke. He interrupts the briefing. He tells the captain that if he lets them smoke they will be very careful to make sure that all the ash from their cigarettes goes overboard. The captain tells him again that they are not allowed to smoke. I think that the captain is very brave. The captain continues the briefing. He tells everyone how to operate the boat's toilet. Uri interrupts again. He says that he has his own very big boat in Israel, and he knows all about operating toilets in boats. He says that he wants to get a bigger boat. He says that his boat 'goes too much boom boom boom' as it sails through the water. He tells the captain that he would like to rent the catamaran for a week to try it out. He then tells the captain that he has brought his own music with him and that he must play it over the boat's speaker system as we cruise.

We set sail. The captain says that we will be sailing around the south side of Delos, and we will then stop for a swim and dinner in a cove off Reinia. It is relatively calm today. We are lucky. I think that Issy has been dreading this cruise. She has been dosing up heavily on seasick tablets.

Uri and Baby Doll seem to be getting through quite a bit of wine and champagne. I happen to be standing behind Uri when he finishes a glass. He gives me his glass and tells me to put it in the cabin. He calls me 'my friend'. He calls everyone 'my friend'. We pull into a cove and drop anchor. I prepare to go for a swim. I put on my rashie and rub sunscreen all over me including in what's left of my hair. One of the Americans watches me. He says that Australians must take preparing to go for a swim very seriously. He says that I look like I'm preparing for a trip to the moon. I jump in. The water is crystal clear, but a bit chilly. Baby Doll jumps in. Uri wants to go snorkelling too. I don't think that he's been snorkelling before. He stands on the deck with his mask down over his face. Baby Doll yells up at him not to jump in. She tells him that if he jumps in with his mask on he will hurt his face. As he jumps in, she gets out, but he keeps yelling to her from the water.

The captain sets up the tables for dinner, one inside and one outside. Uri and Baby Doll sit down at the table outside. I tell Issy that we should sit with them; I think that it might be quite entertaining. There is a young American couple from California at the same table. We chatted to them earlier and they told us that they are on their honeymoon. Uri tells them that they can buy marijuana in California from a company called Weed On-line. I don't think that they are very interested. The conversation turns to pills to make you sleep on planes. Uri says he can get Issy a pill that 'would put a horse to sleep'. The food appears. Uri tells the captain that he is from Israel, and that he can't eat the food if it has any pork in it. It seems that pork is not OK, but he would be more happy to eat it if it was full of marijuana and horse pills.

Baby Doll tells us that she and Uri have been together for seven years and married for two, and that they have two young children. I hadn't picked them as family type people. Of course I hadn't taken much notice of her body in its red bikini, but from what little I had noticed it didn't look too much to me like she'd given birth to two children. She says that she and Uri have come to Mykonos for the last seven years in a row. She says that she was pregnant the last two times they came, so she wasn't able to drink or smoke or party. She says that they are making up for lost time on this trip. She says that they had already drunk quite a lot of champagne before they got on the boat. Their two boys are eighteen months and seven months old, and are back home near Tel Aviv with a nanny and a maid. She tells us that she was born in the Ukraine and that the part of the Ukraine that she came from has now been invaded by the Russians. Uri and Baby Doll are obviously not short of money. I think that everyone on board would love to know where they got it from, but no one is game to ask.

We chat to one half of an American gay couple. He is very expressive, and he says 'oh my god' a lot. He is feeling very sea sick so he jumps in the water to try to make himself feel better. Issy gives him one of her many packets of seasick pills. We hope they're seasick pills - the labelling is all in Spanish. It's his partner's birthday, and he has brought a cake on board for everyone to share. We all sing happy birthday. The cake is chocolate mousse and is delicious.

We finish dinner and start to sail back to Ornos. The sun is setting, and the scene is idyllic. Uri and Baby Doll are cuddling on a mattress on the deck. Issy is looking very relaxed. She says that she is loving this cruise. She says that she wants a yacht. This is quite a turnaround from not wanting to come on the cruise because she thought she'd get seasick. I tell her that if she wants a yacht she needs to find herself a Uri. We arrive back at the dock. Uri yells 'goodbye my friend, goodbye Australia'.

We catch the bus back to Mykonos. There are people everywhere, and buskers are out in force. There always seem to be the same two buskers along the waterfront. One of them has a bulldog. The other one has a dog that looks like a Labrador, and he always has it dressed up in a peaked cap and sunglasses. It still wears the sunglasses after dark. Issy says that she feels embarrassed for the dog. I think that the dogs are far more effective at drawing attention than the buskers.

I blog. I decide that I will replace my Israeli friend's real name with the alias 'Uri'. I'm sure he's got much better things to do than to Google his name and discover it in an obscure travel blog, but I think I will sleep better if I call him by an alias. I include a picture that Issy took of me pretending to steer the boat. I then notice that it has a picture of Baby Doll's back in the background. I think that surely no one could recognise her from this. I then notice a very distinctive tattoo. I delete the picture. I think that I might be safe for now.

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