Santorini

Belated post from August: When we jaunted off to Greece. See the previous post here

So much for bankruptcy: Santorini at least is fucking raking it in.

It was shockingly expensive. One big tourist trap.

An old bat at a mini-market that wasn’t anywhere near a main road or even a town, tried to charge me and the Ex €1 for a banana.

One banana! Rs 100!

We told her to stick it.

Then bought some crisps instead for an equally outrageous fee. Conditioning of our times. Crisps we will pay for, but not fresh fruit.

They say Santorini is a very beautiful island. One of the most beautiful islands in the world.

And it is, in a way.

But while Athens  reminded me of Bombay in a nice way, Santorini reminded me of Goa in a… well, less nice way.

Like Goa, Santorini feels like it is on the road to ruin in a little while.

In a way it has already been tainted. Tourism changes a place, rarely I think, for the better, and how locals change because of it is equally unappealing.

You detect a certain hostility, indifference and voraciousness in their dealings with you.

Being crammed alongside other tourists reflecting back your own tourism is also an unwelcome truth that destroys the myth of the holiday you have taken so much care to create.

As much as my hipster PhDing friend A4 likes to believe that when she goes on holidays she is ‘travelling’, at it’s core it’s still tourism. However the less you see others like you around you, the less you’re forced to observe yourself as you really are i.e a tourist.

Be that as it may, Santorini was very beautiful and very clean. (Unlike Goa) No garbage lying about, the water clear as glass.

When we drove down the winding roads to some of the off-road beaches or smaller, quieter towns it was lovely.

Basically, people ruin everything. Like all tourists I want to be the only tourist.

We stayed in Oia, right near the main street (not that it was very large) and walking anywhere meant walking past the shops.

It drove me a little crazy.

Most of it was tat, but there were a lot of it and I wanted it all.

The prices for all the good stuff was out of my budget but on holiday all caution gets thrown away and instead of walking by, you start considering the options.

How will I pay?

It’s a holiday, I should be able to buy things!

What if I just get this one thing?

What if I just get those 2 things?

I’ll never come to Santorini again! If I don’t get it now I will never get it ever again!

And then finally, in despair

I wish I was a millionaire.

It took a Herculean effort to contain my consumerism and purchase just 1 magnet and one ceramic bowl.

Herculean! The energy it took to restrain myself left me unable to do much besides lounge around on beaches reading.

The ex buttered up our hotel manager. We took him out (or did he take us out?) to a bar the night before we were leaving.

Like Greek coffee, Greek drinks are also excessive. If you ask for a drink, it will be expensive, but you will be hammered by the time you reach the bottom of it.

My vodka orange was largely vodka, small dash of orange.

The ex and the manager spent a lot of drunken moments saying loudly

“I like you! You enjoy life!”

and

“I like you too!”

and then hugging, like old drunken sailors meeting in a bar after a very long time.

I, relatively sober (purely by comparison, not by fact), and was content watching from the sidelines.

I can’t say I’m someone who is very comfortable with cuddling strangers anyway.

I strategically left to go back to our room as soon as the ex starting jumping on the furniture and dancing like a whirring Tasmanian devil. That’s a sign to leg it out of any bar as I have learned from many mis-steps in the past.

The ex’s schmoozing seemed to have paid off, our very nice hotel manager let us check out very late our last day in Santorini, so we got to go to the beach, swim, come back to shower and leave for our flight later in the evening without having to pay for the room.

Nothing as sweet as a good freebie.

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14 thoughts on “Santorini

  1. I read the first part of your post thinking, “hmm I guess I must strike Goa from the revisit list” but then your pictures changed my mind immediately. SO BLOODY GORGEOUS! I guess it helps that the trash is the people, and not real trash lying about..

    Also, “Basically, people ruin everything. Like all tourists I want to be the only tourist” Amen, to that.. I feel that way even when Im not on holiday :-/ I basically want to be the only person to ever know about any beautiful place I visit..forget holiday in!

    • it was really beautiful but i think off season is much better, but its hard to go off season when all bank holidays are at a fixed time. so annoying. i wish bank holidays could be taken in lei? liu? lieu? loo?

      • Those cats do have that lean look… I want to go! The night photos of Oia just kill me. That view and the romance of those warmly lit homes on the hill above the sea is just too much. I love it.

  2. NOOOOO I’ve been wanting to go there for ages!! And now I know that it will be just as annoying as every other high-profile place I’ve wanted to visit… (but also awesome in its own cutting through the tourist-sucksuck way). You should quit your job and just draw pictures, travel and write weird shit about your adventures. Your travel writing is….. THE BEST. <3 (PS How do all the walls stay so white? O___O)

    • I want to quit and do nothing but draw and take photos and organise folders and grow trappies and write blogs!! goddamit i wish i was a bazillionaire

      you should go, but go off season. then it should be purrrrfect. actually goa also off season is great. no tourists. the beach all to yourself. peace.

      i’ve wondered about the walls. i bet they have to re-paint every year to keep up appearances for the tourists.

      also i read somewhere that the angle of the sun through the sky in the med reflects off surfaces in a way that makes colours brighter and crisper than for example further north where the suns angle is steeper.

  3. I want to quit and do nothing but draw and take photos and organise folders and grow trappies and write blogs!! goddamit i wish i was a bazillionaire

    you should go, but go off season. then it should be purrrrfect. actually goa also off season is great. no tourists. the beach all to yourself. peace.

    i’ve wondered about the walls. i bet they have to re-paint every year to keep up appearances for the tourists.

    also i read somewhere that the angle of the sun through the sky in the med reflects off surfaces in a way that makes colours brighter and crisper than for example further north where the suns angle is steeper.

  4. “I want to quit and do nothing but draw and take photos and organise folders and grow trappies and write blogs!! goddamit i wish i was a bazillionaire.”

    Me also. Except my photos aren’t anywhere near as beautiful as yours. Sigh. Definitely true about the angle of the sun. Take anything you’ve bought there and see it in other parts of the world — the colours look different.

    • sigh. i wish pretty pictures = bazillions. just imagine.

      but if you keep using the iPhone your quality of photos will always be slightly grainy. on the other hand photos editing and management eats up a heck of a lot of time spent elsewhere. so you might be making the more sensible decision for option for simplicity.

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