Damn, I had a good time.
I just got back from a few days in Mykonos, which I suppose is the Greek island that defines “Greek islands”. During the summer, it is known as a party Mecca and gay Mecca. However in May of each year, all the university students from Greece come down and let loose, before the main tourist season starts. I went with one of my cousin’s boyfriends and his mates, getting all the student discounts as well – although it still cost an arm and a leg. Not that I cared though, because we just happened to pick the weekend that all the philosophy, theology and arts students came down – courses with 80 per cent women. After four nights there and five days, I have got a migraine from the sensory overload. Looking at beautiful women all day is tiring! I must say it has been the best practice I have had in speaking Greek and building my fluency!
Greece is unrivalled with their nightlife, and I suppose the Greek islands give non-Greeks a taste of that culture. On Saturday night, I was forcefully dragged out of one of the clubs we went to by my group of friends at 8 in the morning. And it was still packed. On Monday night, the night before we left, we found a club to sit down and kick back at about 3 in the morning. At 4am, it was wall-to-wall people. Even though the club was forced to shut down at 4 (or was it 5?), I reckon the people there would have carried on well into the late hours of the morning, because it felt like things had only just started. Having said that though, they were clubs filled with Greeks and not tourists. The picture is of Space Club, which is huge. That was 4 in the morning on Sunday night, whilst the Scandanavian club was quiet at about 2am
Mykonos is a great island because it is only 88 square kilometres – meaning the people are centralised either in the ‘hora’ (the capital) or Super Paradise beach (amazing). However the advantage of Mykonos is also its most annoying aspect – how well organised they are for tourism. To get anywhere, you need to catch a bus which costs one Euro. To get to super-paradise beach, you need to get a boat that costs five euros (bus can’t go down the road). You don’t think about it, but in one day, you’ve already spent 10-15 Euros on transport alone. That’s about 20 AUD. Now let?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s add food, accommodation and alcohol, and you can understand why it can be so expensive, if you don’t watch yourself.
However we discovered something very interesting. The place we were staying at normally cost 35 Euros, and 55 Euros in peak season per room. However the landlord probably only sees about ten of those Euros, with the rest going to agency fees! Because she can’t be bothered hanging around the port haggling people, she does it through the agency. I think there are a few lessons in what I just said.
An interesting aspect of Mykonos is how is caters for all the different types of tourists. Opposite the shop selling 10 Euro necklaces, was a 16,000 Euro watch. Accommodation can cost 2000 Euros a night – or the 10 I will be paying in August when I go again. There are beaches – both the kind you party on, and the kind you have peace of mind on – as well as wine shops, all different kinds of food outlets, and the like. I was impressed. It was a bit like you walking into a shop to buy a present, and the person says “how much do you want to spend?”. The difference being, the present you are buying is for you, and it?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s an experience you won’t forget.
In other news, Greece won Eurovision. Are people congratulating her? Nope, the poor girl is being condemned. I think the quote that sums it all up, is the grandpa wannabe who said she shouldn’t be wearing such a short skirt next to a raised Greek flag, because the only thing that should raise in those situations are men’s penises. It is quite pathetic actually, and I just think its talk-show hosts who have nothing else to talk about. If they are outraged with her skirt, head to Mykonos and have a look what some of the women wore ?¢‚Ç¨‚Äú or didn?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t wear. And as for mixing sex with Greek identity, why doesn?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t grandpa head to tourist central Plaka in Athens, and buy the most popular tourist item there ?¢‚Ç¨‚Äú karma sutra ancient Greek playing cards, or my favourite, an ancient statue of some guy with an erect penis. Classy.
I am frantically running around now trying to get myself organised. Okay, I am taking it easy to recover, but I do have a lot of things to do. After two months of “vacation”, I am now going to do some genuine “travelling”. My sister Victoria gave birth to a big little boy, and my little sister Dora is going Contiki in July – both are in London. So I have to get there as soon as possible, but I figure why not do it overland via the Balkans. Next destination: Albania.