Did you know lizards can do push-ups?!
I can’t stop myself from screaming at every new minute discovery in regards to life on an island, but David knows and remains mostly unimpressed, but wearing that little content smile on his face. He truly is in his element here in Mykonos, whereas the poor Central (not Eastern, OKAY?!) European me is turning into a huffing and moaning beetroot, that comes only slightly alive at the sight of lizards doing push-ups. They really do! And lucky me - there’s billions of them here. Did you know they also do this clicking noise, almost like a tut-tut-tut of your disapproving born-again-Christian aunt?! Okay, enough with the lizards.
We are three weeks into our summer job in Mykonos. I can’t talk about the job here other than assuring you that Devil Wears Prada is more of a documentary in regards to working for the uber-rich, rather than just another Hollywood comedy… no, really, we signed our first-ever NDAs, so unless you want to send me to prison (and you know I would NOT DO WELL in prison), we should focus on Greece and this magnificent infuriating island, instead.
So, drinking tap water is a no no. Standard island stuff, but for a tap-water-addict, super annoying. You know I’m thirsty like ALL THE TIME, which makes everyone suspect I’ve got diabetes even though I don’t eat sugar and my legs don’t swell, so to be constantly lugging around bottled water and finding out there’s none in the house in the middle of the night, results in a completely new level of fury for me. For David, this would probably be the traffic. We’re at the very beginning of summer, but already the island is heaving - something to do apparently with the last couple years of a global home imprisonment. Sometimes, taking a car to the main city takes an hour, instead of 7 minutes. This is not a joke and according to locals, never happens this early. July and August, you can’t get anywhere in a car due to traffic, hence why everyone does quads and scooters here….haven’t seen a SINGLE person on a bike yet, hashtag sad face - as biking was one of the main things I looked forward to after our winter season in the French Alps.
Did you know that Greece is spread over about 6000 islands? Blows my mind. Mykonos is known as the Island of Winds and it’s not as poetic as it sounds, it’s actually quite brutal. Especially trying to roll your luggage that contains ALL OF YOUR LIFE up the hill against the ‘meltemi’ wind, you’ve done your fitness quota for the week. Houses here have rounded corners and roofs, so that the winds would slide over them, rather than hitting these unnatural angles hard and generating a noise that could (and DID) drive people crazy. There are also small windows placed strategically, so that the strong northern winds can create a natural air conditioner. That whole stereotypical Cycladian island look - snow white houses with blue doors and shutters - had its own historical function, actually. Blue doors would be marking abodes of sea-faring inhabitants, whereas red would denominate people working in administration etc. Another theory says it reflects the colors of the Greek flag and yet another claims it’s got something to do with protection against evil - the popular Greek ‘evil eye’ symbol is also white and blue.
We’re trying our best (and failing spectacularly so far) at blending in, because when Mykonos clocks you as a tourist, you’re done for.
The island has one mission only - to get you so drunk and horny you won’t investigate why everything is three times pricier.. and give you a hangover so intense, you won’t have any capacity to probe why your spending from the last night amounted to €700. Not a joke, just a fact.
There are only about 10.000 locals living here full time, but over the summer, Mykonos hosts up to 100.000 tourists. What I understood, Mykonians are used to working nonstop in the summer months, we’re talking zero days off for up to five months, but then they hibernate October to May with absolutely nothing to do, but listening to the howling of meltemi winds and going entelós trelós. So far, all the Greek men look exactly the same to me, with variations in regards to height and weight and the amount of (always LUSH) facial hair. I know, super racist, but hey - Central European here. Women, often sadly diluting their striking and quite severe Greek facial features with copious amounts of silicon fillers, have the most magnificent hair. Dark, curly and dense, truly a stuff of myths. The patriotism and the pride that Greeks take in being the cradle of western civilization is truly inspiring - take it from someone whose country is known for the exact opposite. (Even though we Czech gave the world contact lenses and the word 'robot', so.)
But can someone explain to me how a country that gave birth to our modern medicine, philosophy, democracy, geometry, art, marathons, clock towers and vending machines, have not yet figured out how to flush a fucking toilet paper?
We did some horse riding for David’s birthday on Sunday. The Horseland business is run by another expat - Laura from Scotland. She gave us a few secret tips for exploration - like the not so often visited northern part of the island. There used to be a big raw quartz crystal mining business here, but currently it's only ruled by wild goats called Kri-kri. The name is cute but they're angry bastards, two of them charged at us, but Davi managed to chase them away by bleating more loudly than them.
Later on, at an unbelievably popular and pricey beach/bar Jackie O’ (of course, named after Jackie Onassis and I guess trying to convey the exclusivity of Aristotle Onassis's Private Greek Island called...Skorpios...I mean, how small is your dick, Aristotle?) with a best drag show on the island, we met Matteo - a really nice guy from Torino. And the following day, we’d all go to watch a live stream of a global warming awareness concert: Vivaldi’s Four (Uncertain) Seasons, that was held in the ancient ruins of Dalos - an island mere 2km away from here. The first music to be performed there in thousands of years. How special! Sadly, I was distracted the whole time by the main violinist looking a spitting image of Amber Heard, clearly we can’t get a break from the comedy trial even when attempting culture.
I find it both stimulating and terrifying that this job has no clearly defined boundaries and rules: when anything is possible, everything is possible. For now, we’re property managers tasked with bringing three summer villas out of their winter slumber - finding, booking and supervising legions of gardeners, electricians, cleaners, pool experts and snake exterminators, but come end of June and the arrival of our first VIP guests, we’ll be turning into concierge and ambassadors, which is a 21st century euphemism for Downton Abbey butlers.
In conclusion, life could definitely feel worse and it most likely will, so for now hashtag gratitude and let’s hope the next blog post won’t come from a prison or a mental asylum.