When we got back to the room, Aleksandra was cleaning our room. She couldn’t speak English at all, but got our attention while standing beside my bed holding one of my pillows. She held it up a little and put up two fingers while saying something in Greek with an inflection that indicated a question.
I figured out that she was asking me if I wanted two pillows, and I said, "Yes!" With one hand, she made a "V" with her fingers and put them up to her eyes, and then pointed over to Robert's bed where he had two of the throw pillows under his bed pillow, letting us know that she had seen that we'd both done that, and that's why she was asking if we each wanted an extra pillow. This place so gets customer service.
As I left the room, I couldn't find my glasses, and wondered if I'd left them up by the computer at one point, or somewhere down by the pool. I really don't lose my glasses this often at home, I guess I keep them on more there. At any rate, when I got down to the pool area, I mentioned this to one of the staff, and they immediately called up to the lobby to see if they had been turned in up there. No luck. "We'll let you know if we find them," she said.
I sat around the pool catching up my journal while Robert used the spa facilities – sauna and steam room. He came down after a while, and announced that he was going to walk down to the beach and get in the Aegean Sea – gotta do it. I ran up to the room to get the camera to make it a Kodak moment.
I walked into the room, and went over to the desk to grab the camera bag. What's in the middle of the desk? My glasses. Amazing. They're just amazing here.
Back at the pool, Robert and I walked down to the beach, and Robert ran into the water. It was pretty cold, but he went in in one fell swoop, and then it was wonderful. After getting a few shots of him, I actually followed suit, with one quick dive in.
This is one of the wonderful things I love about Robert; without him there, I would have missed out on the opportunity to take a swim in the Aegean, and it was such a joy. He's just adventurous like that, and likes to explore and try new things, while I'm happy with the status quo. I put the S-J in E-S-F-J. :-)
Once out of the water, we lied out there for just about five minutes, long enough to dry off a little, and then headed back up to the pool where Adam, Keith, and Hector were. Since I was already wet, and used to the cold, I jumped into the pool. This pool is so beautiful, but there has been virtually no one in it the entire time we've been there – one or two people on and off, and some people putting just their feet in.
I don't know if this was the reason, but I'm sure it certainly contributed to it – there was so much chlorine in the pool that I could hardly breathe in it. I swam from the deep end that I have dived into to the shallow end, then back to where the boys were sitting. That was all I could stand; I had to get out.
Robert and I went down to the Jacuzzi area, where there was one woman already in it. The Jacuzzi was on a lower level deck, much smaller than the main area, with room for about 12-15 sunbathers. There were four or five of those hard straw umbrellas for shade, and one or two tables between some of the lounge chairs. The Jacuzzi sat up a little in one corner of the area.
After five or so minutes the lady got out, and then Robert and I proceeded to mess around in there. I love to be in Jacuzzi's naked, and as long as the jets were going, you couldn't see under the water. As soon as she got out, I took off my swimsuit. We did all kinds of fun things, incorporating the jets, too -- as much as we could get away with without being obvious. I edged several times in there, but never "released" as we have at least that much couth. It was hot, both literally and figuratively.
Getting out of the pool was funny, because, let's just say that Robert's swimsuit was not cooperating. It thought it was at the circus -- the big tent, as it were. We laughed.
We went back up by the pool for a little while to dry off some, and then went up to the room where we finished what we had started in the Jacuzzi. MMMMMMMMMMMM.
It was about 1:30 now, and we showered, got dressed, and headed into town. Up at the bus stop, we ran into Adam, who was heading into town to do a couple loads of laundry. He still has another week to go – on the 7-day follow-on cruise – so was getting that done in preparation for our departure tomorrow. The Laundromats charged E10 a load to wash, dry, and fold your clothes.
Once we arrived in town, he dropped them off, while Robert and I checked out "Condomania," which the UK-Belgium couple had told us about yesterday on Delos, and is billed as "the funniest shop in Mykonos" on the sign in front of it. Adam joined us in there shortly thereafter.
They did have some very funny things in there including some great t-shirts. Adam bought one that said, "Nice legs! What time do they open?" and Robert marked one for purchase later that was all in Greek, but said, "For Rent: Information Inside."
I marked a pair of glow-in-the-dark glasses that have a huge penis for the nose to definitely purchase later, and marked five little "penis knickknacks," that I thought were hysterical, for "possible purchase" later.
We wanted to eat lunch, and walked around looking for the place at which we ate crepes after the bar on the night I got so drunk, but couldn't find it. We ended up eating in a restaurant – sitting outside facing the water. We each ordered a club sandwich, Adam's and mine with fries, and Robert's without. We ordered a cucumber and tomato salad, which when came, was huge, and we all picked at it. Adam and I had a Mythos beer, and Robert had a coke. A basket of bread was also served with our order, and after commenting, "Oh yeah, who would eat that with a club sandwich which already has three slices of bread on it," after which I proceeded to have a slice dipped in some olive oil with salt and pepper in it. God, I love bread.
We laughed and laughed during lunch, mostly at (with) Adam doing Brenda Vaccaro imitations. What was most fun, though, was watching Adam become oriented to this area in which we were eating – that it was the same place we'd been yesterday, walking to catch the boat to Delos. He thought that we had driven to the "other side of the island" to catch that boat, and as he sat there, said, "There's a red boat over there, just like the one we passed yesterday walking to the boat to Delos." And then, "Oh, and the Ramrod bar. There must be a chain of them."
I said, "Girl, what are you talking about? That’s the same red boat we walked by yesterday. We got let off right over there (pointing) and walked all the way around here to get over to that pier." You could see the lightbulbs going off in his head as he slowly realized this was the same place. We all had a good laugh over that.
Yes, it was all fun and games until I noticed the advertisement on a big board on the wall of the restaurant that had a list of the items they sell, with the second or third to the last being, "Warious snacks." Warious? Warious??? You know I went nutso, and had to have a picture of it, of course.
Before catching the 5:30 bus, we stopped at the little mini-mart, and bought a 1.5 liter bottle of Coke Light, and a beer to take with us for later. Back on the hill, we stopped at the little store at the bus stop, and purchased two large bottles of water.
We had just about an hour before we had to start getting ready for our farewell dinner in the hotel restaurant. I started working on my journal, and Robert turned on the TV. After a few minutes, I realized that it was the special on outsourcing that they've been advertising all week. When I heard the words "Bangalore" and "call centers," I left the computer, and watched the program for a while.
It was quite interesting, the part I saw at least, where they were interviewing "the new generation" of Indian "kids" working in these call centers, and basically becoming what they kept referring to as "westerners," and I kept thinking of as "capitalists." What was most interesting was the kids talking about how they are trained to talk like westerners to answer the call center phones, and how basically an American accent is a "pass to prosperity."
There was also an interesting philosophical discussion about countries rich in culture become "westernized," and the implications to the perseverance of the culture's rituals. There was an interesting segment about trying to marry the technology with the rituals and customs where they showed children who were inclined to carry on the ancient drawing skills being trained in animation, which is also in demand for outsourcing.
Dinner was supposed to be at 8:00, and Robert and I arrived in the dining area at about 7:55. We were the first ones there, but shortly after Adam and Keith arrived. We took the seats at the end of the table close to the sea, and waited. They brought us bread, and then some pate, and it got to be 8:10 or so. Still no others. I said, "Maybe they’re all up in the lobby or something."
Robert said, "Oh! That's right! We were supposed to meet in the lobby." Adam got up to run up there, and the wait staff called him off pointing to their cell phone / radio, "We'll call up there." They were indeed all up there, and shortly after arrived in the dining room.
I have waited too long to finish this entry, and now regretfully, can't remember the details of the dinner. I know it was "upscale," because that's what Steve, the travel agent called it when he told us he'd arranged it.
White wine was served all around. I passed. Glykeria waited on us and she was such fun. Once again, the place being well-wired, she took our order on a hand-held gadget. Adam asked to see who made it and none of us were surprised that it wasn't IBM. She had to enter the order in such a way that she had to ask, "Okay, for the appetizer, everyone who wants selection one, raise your hand. And the rest, I'll assume selection two." She showed me the interface, and it basically had 11 entries, or however many of us there were, and there were bulleted check boxes for each person. And it showed whatever we had ordered, 6 beef checks and 5 chicken checks -- whatever the actual number was.
There was a choice of appetizers, a beef choice, or a chicken choice. I can't remember what it was once it came though. Robert chose the beef, and I chose the chicken.
I'm pretty sure we had a salad, though if so, I can't remember what was in it, or what kind of dressing it had on it.
I believe the entrée choices were between "Pork Escallops" and Ocean Perch prepared some fancy way. I had the pork. I can't remember what the vegetables were that came with it.
Darn it. I wish I could remember this. I have actually sent an email to the hotel asking if they can possibly refresh me on the menu.
MYKONOS GRAND HOTEL <email@example.com>
09/18/2004 06:25 AM
To: John Martin/Raleigh/IBM@IBMUS
Subject RE: Request for your help, please!
Dear Mr John Martin good day,
Thank you for your e-mail and your nice comments.
Regarding your request for the menu of the last evening, the choices you had were as follows :
- Beef carpaccio served with fennel and orange fillets, or
- Crepes filled with spinach and creamy cheese “anthotiro”
- Greek salad with apple and avocado
- Pork escalope prepared with a fine honey and mustard sauce, or
- Sea bass cooked in a tomato sauce with a variety of herbs
- Panacotta on a bed of strawberry sauce, or
- Prunes marinated in sweet red wine and served with a light yogurt mousse
Hoping to see you again in the future.
With kind regards
I do remember the dessert because one sounded good and the other didn't. The first choice sounded like an "upscale version" of strawberry shortcake, which I don't care for, and the other choice had the word “prune” in it, which turned most people off, including me. The entire table ordered the shortcake, me included, only because prunes sounded worse than strawberry shortcake.
Once Glykeria got the order, she was taking it down at the end of the table that I was sitting at, she said, "That prune dessert is really, really good. It's a shame no one got it. It's a nice yogurt mousse. It's my favorite dessert here."
"Really?" I said. "Well if you can leave the prunes off, I'll try that then."
She said, "Oh, no problem."
As it turned out, the strawberry shortcake that the entire rest of the group got was absolutely tasteless, and everyone was disappointed with it. My dessert was delicious. :-)
We had a toast to a great vacation during the meal, and afterwards had some coffee. Robert, in his usual "adventure role," tried the Greek coffee. Me, in my usual "stick-with-what-you-know role" (a.k.a. "stuck-in-a-rut" role) had regular, what they called, "filtered," coffee. I was happy with my choice. The Greek coffee was like mud, and since I drink it black, it would have been "mud straight up."
We retired to our rooms, and most of us met up at the bus stop for the 10:45 bus into town. We started out at Porta's again, and when it came time to wander to the other area, Robert and I walked back up to catch the bus. We wanted to catch the last one, which was scheduled for 1:30AM.
We were hoping that "Condomania" would still be open so Robert could get his t-shirt. I had decided not to get those various (or should I say warious) penis knickknacks, and Robert said, "What about the glasses?" I actually had forgotten about them, and was thinking that he was talking about some drinking glasses I may have pointed out, but since I couldn’t remember any, said, "Nah. I'm not going to get them."
Robert got his t-shirt, the one in Greek that says, "For Rent: Information Inside" (or is it "Inquire Within"? Something like that. When he came back, he said, "I got you these," and they were the "penis nose" glasses! Ah, those! I’d forgotten about them. How sweet of him to buy them for me -- his sweetness, though – no surprise – and always appreciated. I can't wait to use them on Halloween at the bars.
We were at the bus stop by about 1:10, and waited until 1:45 for it. It never came. We hailed a cab, and had a ride back to the hotel for just under E5,00.