My first day solo on Salamina. Life on a Greek Island definitely isn’t boring, although everyday tasks are somewhat difficult when you don’t speak Greek. Posting a parcel for instance. How was I to know that the ‘to’ address goes at the bottom and the ‘from’ address goes at the top when they’re both on the same side? The woman at the post office thought I was posting a parcel to Greece and got huffy at me when I said it was going to New Zealand. “It is wrong!” she said. “I’m not Greek, how am I to know?” I replied. “You didn’t ask!” was her answer. Nothing really to say to that. I hadn’t asked, I had assumed – incorrectly.
This sorted (by buying another bag, re-addressing it and buying more stamps) I cycled to the market which was spread out down near the port. After the post office experience I was too scared to buy anything but tomatoes, but there were all sorts of vegetables, fruit, fish, clothing, textiles and the essential must have – Greek music cds.
Cycling on round the port road I stopped at a small beach with stunted palms trees and blue wooden seats. The water was acqua and so clear I could see fishes swimming around. A local woman waded slowly out to sea and I heard her exclaim as she took the first plunge. But the water wasn’t cold, it was verging on lukewarm as I found out soon enough. The water is also so salty that it makes you very buoyant, you basically can just sit there and you don’t go under. Of course if it gets in your eyes that’s a different story.
After swimming I got some bread, milk and fruit at the local supermarket and pushed my bike up the hill back to the house for lunch. This was nearly consumed by hungry kittens as I left the table briefly to go to the kitchen.
Half-way through lunch I heard a mewing sound coming from the next door house which was now empty for the autumn. On inspection I discovered a tiny tabby kitten who had been abandoned by its mother. I climbed the fence to discover although cute it hissed and spat like a wild tiger. Reluctant to get scratched by a feral kitten, I hurried across back to the house to get it some milk. The mewing continued for a couple of hours. I got it some water, it looked at me with big frightened eyes and then spat at me. Not knowing what to do I rang my house-sit owner. She explained that this was what it was like in Greece, there were many kittens and though she had saved some it would probably die.
It just seemed too cruel. I refused to let it go. I got it some canned cat food as well. It hissed and didn’t look grateful. Later on I checked on it and it was gone. Either the mother had returned to claim it or the neighbours had gotten tired of its mewing and disposed of it. I really hope it was the former.