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Monday, July 26, 2010

corfu guide, corfu rhyme

(Let's see... How do we link this to the blog? I went to Corfu. Was it because of the crisis? No, I would have gone anyway. I took the car with a friend and shared the cost. Would I have driven alone if my financial situation had been better? No, would much rather do it with a friend. Would I have flown? Perhaps, but it was much better with the car.)

I just came back from Corfu. Stayed with a friend who has a gorgeous flat in the old town. Nothing fancy, but very white and airy, with lots of windows and a wonderful feeling to it. While I was there I read Life of Pi, I ate souvlaki at Ninos twice, I had tsipouro with saffron, went through two hairy parking situations and bought a bottle of kumquat liqueur (the clear kind, my gateway to new cocktails). Apart from food, drink, a movie and petrol, the kumquat liqueur is the only thing I spent money on. I did see some nice shoes, but I resisted until we had to rush to catch our ferry back. Now I'm in Athens and the shoes are safely in Corfu. I'm clearly not the kind of tourist the island wants. And I don't think I'm the only one. I could never, ever, imagine that finding a parking space in the town centre, in the middle of summer, could be so easy. Wherever we ate, the place was half empty. The beaches were absolutely tolerable (apart from the weekend when the locals come out to play). I counted at least six shops within the old town that have shut down (I wish this didn't rhyme and I wish I could focus on the dozens of shops that are still doing well, but are they? I feel I rant coming on).  And why shouldn't they shut down? Why do we need all this crap anyway? (Deep breath.)

One time, as I opened one of the windows of the flat to take in the view, I noticed two men on the rooftop of a building opposite us. One was sitting on a chair, the other cutting his hair (chair, hair, you have to be kidding me). I got so excited, I must have taken more than ten pictures of this scene. It was such a contrast. On the street, people walking around, tourists taking photographs, cars parking and un-parking, mopeds making everyone's lives difficult and above it all, a guy in his underwear, cutting his bare chested friend's hair. I don't know why, but there was something wonderfully reassuring about that.

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