Here I am
IN Greece, at the Kouitou Hotel, in Skala Eressos, Lesbos.
A home from home, if ever there was one.
It’s colourful, relaxed, and in the throes of emerging from its winter slumber into a fabulous summer retreat.
Vassilki and Alex are busying themselves sweeping and setting out chairs and tables in the courtyard, bar area, and the lovely terrace with a sea view.
The book shelf there still has the plastic cover over it but soon, its eclectic content of books — in a number of languages — will reveal themselves.
You can lie on the day beds there, in the shade of a palm tree roof, and read to your hearts content. Bliss!
Yesterday, the Aegean Airlines air hostesses wore sleeveless dresses.
Their attire was a portent of the things to come: it is hot when you land at Mytiline airport.
A childhood friend meets you, and then, there she is.
Talking to a woman from India -who is going to the Osho Afroz Centre in the Eressos/Skala Eressos area called Kampos, a rural area of smallholdings and farms.
It’s an in situ centre with various types of accommodation, and lots of esoteric stuff going on.
She’s going to give massages and massage training there.
The drive to Eressos — that road again, hairpin bends and so steep in some places — it’s a wonderland of vivid colours and fragrant flowers. The roses are beautiful, and big.
On the way, you stop at Kalloni beach: you take your shoes off and step into the tickling lace on the edge of the bay.
It’s a gulf, she says, and pronounces it goolf. You look around, and she’s smiling, watching you.
We get to the Afroz centre and women literally pour out of the bushes; on their way to a meeting; you don’t ask.
But everyone clings to each other in a joyous embrace. If you want lots of hugs, Osho’s your man!
You decide you will go for a massage there, soon.
Then it’s time to check in at the hotel, take a quick peek at the beach at Skala — oh, the sea, it’s surly winter mood still rattles and tugs at the pending calm of summer. It’s frothing and feeling its way into the deep. It doesn’t want to let go, that winter sea, and surges once more to make its point.
Supper at Sam’s in the inland village. The men play backgammon on the stoep, and you, you eat sardines, of course, and salads.
You take a taxi from the pretty centre of Eressos, to your hotel in Skala Eressos. You shower. And sleep.
And sleep again.