Kos Island, Greece

So I'm on Kos visiting Dean from back one on Maui. His family lives here and runs a bar /restaurant here in Marmari, Spatzennest. It is so completely charming here. It feels so good to be lounging  on a recliner staring into the sea and feasting on a Gyros platter as the sweet winds waft by. Spatzennest is HQ for me daily. Every morning after I casually rise from a deep slumber, I make my way here through the path from Dean and Phoenix's house to the restaurant- a mere 1 minute commute. Here I have the most amazing cappuccino complete with clotted cream. 

Today, being no different, except my heart is heavy with grief over the Friday car bombing in Gaziantep. I was on Kos when I heard the news Monday evening. As the news of it progressed I became more distressed. Yesterday my emotions took over and I just had to walk off my sadness. I walked and I walked and I walked...  Perhaps the first 100 meters or so i was in tears, but they soon dried up. I mean, one cannot cry and walk for too long a time. I just needed to look at pretty things. I was not disappointed.

I headed out from Marmari to a neighboring village, Mastihari- at least 20 kilometers away. By the end of my journey I did get picked up by an overly gregarious Greek man who dropped me off nearby my destination. I did decline his offer for a kiss...I had another fabulous lunch- all the food is fabulous in Greece- there and decided to return by way of the beach instead of the main road. It took less than half the time, and was extraordinarily beautiful. 

I returned exhausted- mostly on an emotional level even though it was about  a 30 kilometer round trip more or less. I didn't come away from it with any solutions, but I felt better and drained of energy. I finished up st the beach here in Marmari to catch pre sunset activities and read my book with invigorating interest.

Speaking of books,I love to read when I travel. Dean's bookcase is full of interesting treasures. I started/finished a Sufi book already. Now I am reading 2 books simultaneously by Nikos Kazantzakis. Now for those of you who don't know Kazantzakis' works, he wrote "Zorba the Greek" as well as "The Odyssey: a Modern Sequel" among others. I am reading "At The Palace of Knossos" and "The Fratricedes". The first, in the evenings as the book sorts through the wonders of the goings-on inside the Palace of Knossos just before the city-state of Athens conquers the ancient Minoan Crete- complete with minoutars and labyrinths. The 2nd book is a daytime novel for me as the issues are intense. It's about the 1940s Greek civil war. In the style of a Greek tragedy, there is a hero that deals with good and evil entangled in a web based on social, political and religious problems.

I feel like I am living a Turkish tragedy now complete with the same struggles that the Greek hero, Father Yanaros, is dealing with. What is happening in Gaziantep? Who is behind the bombings? PKK? Syria? PKK + Syria? Other internal factions? Getting reliable news stories is another issue to deal with. What will happen as a result of this? Civil strife? What about what happened in Tunisia? This is very close to my heart. I can't have another revolution of sorts. What do I tell my mother? She was so distraught when I was stuck in Tunisia. I can't do this to her again. Hopefully I am over-reacting, but how can my mind not wander when, after 1.5 years of the Syrian unrest, it finally spills over the border into Gaziantep- where I currently call home. 

Okay, that is all for now as I become too emotional again. I am thankful I am currently over here, yet many friends of mine are indeed in Gaziantep right now, and elsewhere throughout Turkey and worried about the situation and growing unrest developing. 

ps, typed this out on my iPad so I didn't error correct the error corrections... 


Sleepless in Kas...

Traveling all night. No sleep for the privileged. Just off the bus 10 am & have landed in Kas. I'm at Noel Baba Cafe having my 2nd cappuccino. It's a real cappuccino- prolly with a real price attached to it...

So I'm trying to orient myself to the town right now. Need to take care of some business before heading out to the end of the peninsula at Arpas Hotel.  Looking forward to simply relaxing in the water today. I need to find Bouginvilla Sports. I need to find the danisma to get a map and figure out the times of the dolmus to the peninsula. I need to get some fruit and beer, and then go out to the hotel...

The harbor is quaint and full of boats/yachts. This meets my requirements! Next I need to work on finding my dive master... The requisite cats abound with a token lazy, overly huge dog strewn about. It's early still- mid morning and I witness the town waking up. 

This cafe is right at the toe of the harbor so people watching is front row spectator sport here. It already looks like my kind of town. The place could prolly use a yoga instructor in the summers. Everybody looks tanned, relaxed, and casual sporty. Gives me a tinge of a feel of back home. Yet, Hawaii has drop dead hotties so to speak. I'm sure they exist here.  Me thinks more reconnaissance work is needed- tonight!

Back to life, back to reality: my reality is a backpack! I have to say I adore this lifestyle. Some people are just born to be free. This is freeing:Hoping on a plane solo; making my way to the otogar at 3:30am; sleeping on a bench outside the otogar (with one eye open) with my backpack wrapped around my foot and a small bag as a pillow... Traveling the Mediterranean coast following the Lycian Way and admiring the beauty of the landscape, and finally arriving at my destination exhausted yet amped up from adrenalin of making it all happen- by myself. 

Spotted someone. Interesting. Observing a man on his bot smoking a cigarette. Waiting- prolly for customers.  He looks happy. I can see through the leathery lines on his face. He is privileged to lead this life. 

Sounds like Greek music in the background. I get the feeling everybody likes each other here...

I'm stalling now. I should already have my backpack on and heading out...I need to get through this last stretch of tasks before I can relax I my bikini.  Oh how heavenly just to type the words: B I K I N I.  This is the only problem in my current life: lack of bikini.