The Traveller by Afrodykie

I is for … me! Jokes … it’s for Intense and Interesting
STOP whining about not having a lover, says the Joburg Serenity Sister.
And do some solid travel writing!
You think there is enough of that stuff and some flourishes are called for, the ones she says you ought to dump.
Yes, discard the unique part of your work, and make it like everyone else’s.
Not a chance.
Fluid and fresh … you like it like that.
It’s what springs from within, like the comment oh what a bevy of beauties.
Indeed, there they are. The A-team, sprawled out on the sand in a mountain range of perky nipples, and endless hillocks of scarlet derrieres.
Fur enough. They’re on holiday, unlike you.
You’re here in Eressos, on a mission to madness, the madness of believing in a dream!
You swim, swim for a long time, far out into the sea. For peace, and tranquillity.
You revel, gambol in the arms of the ocean, you relish its womb with a view.
Like the chocolate torte with ice cream and the Turkish apple tea you sink into at margaritari.
It means pearl, says one of the owners.
It’s lovely sitting there, on the deck with its legs in the sand.
You submit to the sighs of the shy sweet sea.
You taste the treasure of today, savour the niceness of now.
There is more to come, a second serving of special — the Sappho concert in the vast open air cinema down the road.
You walk, and the humid air smothers your skin.
It makes it shiny sheen sweat, so intent is it.
The show, organised by the Cultural Association of Eressos, it moves you to tears.
First, a fine documentary made by Katerina, Katerina of Portakali, she says when you ask her for her telephone number.
Then some of the 7BC poems of two prominent lyric poets, Sappho and Alkman, and Orphic hymns – all sung to music played on a lyre. It looks like a blesbok skull with long horns.
Its friends are a djembe drum, a flute, rattles and other percussion instruments.
They make their appearances not all at the same time; antiquity meets today in the hands and voices of three artistes.
It’s a beautiful, haunting, enthralling performance.
The choirs play with your heart strings. Just like that.
They sing traditional Greek songs. They take you into the deep recesses of your love.
The music is so melancholy, so evocative it melts into your sheltered guarded spots and swells there.
Sto pa kai sto ksanaleo, sung by both choirs, the children and adult singers of Eressos, it pulls ropes and ropes of tenderness from you, ropes that bind you, inexplicably inexorably, to the Hellene of your heart.
It makes you cry hot tears, so warm is the feeling inside.

The Traveller by Afrodykie

H is for … Happy
YOU put an empty arm round some waists, but alas, none yields.
It is that kind of night, hot and unrelenting, music and voices at full volume to celebrate the 50th birthday of Miss CasaConcept.
But where’s the birthday girl?
Oh, she’ll make a grand entrance I’m sure, says someone next to me.
Alas, no trumpets announce her arrival and she quietly mingles into the noisy crowd at Belle Ville in Skala Eressos.
The microphone’s all set and then boom! The speakers blare.
Katerina Vrana’s comedy teases tears of laughter from our crinkled eyes.
Then, just as the dancing begins, something makes you put your hand in your rucksack next to your chair.
The phone’s ringing. It’s Miss Muscles and the Kaftan One calling from Arendal, Norway.
There’s a heat wave there (surprise surprise) and they’re making the most of it.
They’re sitting outdoors, on the Kaftan One’s balcony, drinking wine!
The call lifts your spirits.
And you feel brave, so brave you make (unsuccessful) forays into friendliness.
Miss Panama, in disguise to avoid the paparazzi (ha ha), swings a video camera your way.
You blow kisses at the unwavering lens, and hope it’s a good picture!
The music ends, at 2am or so, and into the sea you go, you and some other women who obey the instruction to swim.
You all strip on the sand. The water feels like liquid velvet.
It’s full moon. Bliss, the best part of the night, for you, those minutes floating, staring at the star speckled sky.
That is a delight, and meeting the gents from Paris.
They come to sit next to you, these veterans of Greek island holidays, these oh so charming denizens of the debonair.
Reminisces of Mykonos in the 60s and 70s still make their eyes sparkle.
Yes, and we have a spectrum of things to talk about, a veritable spectrum my dear.
You enjoy their elegant and erudite company on the beach the next day too.
Hallelujah, kindred spirits.
Adam and Adam and Eve so bare are we.
You give them an apple, an apple for a sore stomach.
Grate it, let it go brown for a while, then eat it.
Ah, says Jean opening his eyes wide, and tilting his head as if to better examine the red fruit.
Not too brown, says Claude, with care in his eyes.

The Traveller by Afrodykie

G is for … G-spot
YES, that elusive and controversial location of spontaneous ejaculation and involuntary writhing.
Does it exist? Does it?
You’re sitting in Kafene, wondering what to write about.
G is for Glamour? Grace? Guts?
Hmm. Not even your morning walk with Vento prompted an answer.
Then you ask the man who spends just as much time as you do in your office.
Our office, he laughs, brandishing a bulky film script.
Today he offers triangles of watermelon. Once. Twice.
It helps with the … and he indicates flushing.
He sits at a table nearby and wants to know what you’re doing here, in Eressos.
You tell him you write a blog three days a week and today it’s G. But you’re stuck.
He sticks a fork into a triangle of watermelon and contemplates its ruddiness.
His eyebrows travel almost to the top of his bald head.
Then he looks at you and says: the spot.
You mean the G-spot?
He shrugs his shoulders.
It’s not because I’m Italian or anything. Maybe it’s this place that makes me think of it.
There go the shoulders again.
Yes! G for G-spot.
There’s no mistaking the feel of it, either as the lover or lovee.
You remember The Gusher.
Yes, not only did she turn into a cavorting banshee and thrash around the bed like a rogue windmill, she also spurted fountains of whatever it is women shoot in ecstasy.
Blush. You don’t want to brag or anything, but you have an inbuilt GPS that leads you, without fail, to the G-spot.
It’s not rocket science, this navigation. But you do have to know how to multi-task.
And yes, it does involve penetration.
And some nimble finger work.
It works best with the thumb on the clitoris, and your middle finger and index finger exploring inside.
It’s not a small spot, usually, this G-spot. It is ridged, sort of corrugated.
There is no mistaking it. For either of you.
Start a stroking movement, slowly backwards, forwards. Inside.
Meanwhile, don’t forget your thumb has to do some work too.
Round and round, up and down.
This actions demands some dexterity, dears. Some nuance, too.
Pause and kiss. Let your tongue tour her body.
If you’re successful, she will say something like ah … yes! Yes!
She’ll draw your loser. Don’t stop, she’ll say.
She’ll lift her buttocks (without knowing it).
Her kisses? They’ll become decidedly raunchy. Wilder.
At this point, stay calm.
If you want her to go really ballistic, let your tongue trawl her body, especially in the pelvic area, her neck, yes, in the folds of her arms. Don’t bite. Yet.
You have to be supple in this business.
Subtle. Imaginative. Sure.
She must trust you because the pleasure of the G-spot journey is unremitting.
It can even be startling, for G-spot virgins.
You go with the flow though, both of you, to the place where angels sing a rapturous song, the bliss of seventh heaven.


The Traveller by Afrodykie

F is for … (scratches head) um … frolic

YES. Frolic, it’s a lovely word.
It has a child-like quality: to play merrily. Gambol.
A sunny innocence prevails, in fun.
It smiles it’s so light-hearted, open and unguarded.
The word laughs with an inherent and beautiful joy.
You feel it, deep deep inside, the meaning of it.
It is the essence of you.
The happy beautiful child, it romps in the bright light of love, self love.
You like it, a lot.
This emotion, it’s a manifestation, an acceptance, an inherent celebration of the intrinsic you.
You revel in it, this innate and fulsome joy.
You hold it close. Close.
It’s a clean slate, a springboard, a refuge.
It’s yours. A treasure, everything.
It lives.
A gleaming sun, it glows — from deep deep inside, the terrible place too, where shadows rise.

The Traveller by Afrodykie

E is for … Eressos
THE heat is on, and the clothes are off. You’re baring all too, as you always do. Grin and bare it.
That’s your motto for the summer! Cheeky.
The sun slaps your arse. Yes, a red bum’s fun. And you’re not the only one with an all over tan.
The signs are explicit, all two of them. Nudity is forbitten, they say, very sternly, in Greek and English.
Of course, nobody in Eressos can read. Or else the relentless sun blinds them. Or else their hair’s been whipped across their eyes by this cracking and cruel wind.
Gale force.
Umbrellas buckle and turn inside out, beach tarpaulins shudder, tethers strain to free themselves from sand-filled plastic bottles.
Who cares? Nobody.
There’s the placid Aegean to plunge into if you seek relief. Brown bodies wallow in it quite nicely, thank you. Splish splash.
Then they float, fancy free. Windsurfers streak across the ocean’s choppy surface. Fast. Bounce.
The village and Skala are busy. They’re plump with potential, with people, people who come back again, and again. Hug and kiss. Embrace.
The summer’s shifting gears. It’s warming up for a searing August. Everything’s fuller, fatter.
The tents, also forbitten, are springing up metres from the sand, for a mahalla sand in your hair holiday. The bamboo and palm leaf rooms, they’re being erected too … one in your favourite spot near Sappho’s rock, on the beach.
It’s an elaborate thing, with a generous porch, enclosed against the wind.
Families, hippies, children, you name it, everyone’s heading for the beach, to swelter in the sun.
Yes, the world comes to Eressos, in summer, the world and tra la la the big spending Athenians.
It’s that sort of place, Eressos.
So swathed in summer you can feel its pulse.
Yes, it drips desire, and you want some.
Ela, agapi mou!

The Traveller by Afrodykie

D is for … Guess

HA HA. That’s funny, hey?!
Yes, D is for a lot of things, but mostly desire, dancing and delicious.
Desire? Uhoh … that pesky little beast of banality, it just won’t behave.
Sit, you say, sit!
Grrrr, it says, GRRRRRRR.
There’s just no end to its insistence.
It’s doing its damndest to make you move but you don’t know.
You can’t see a signpost. No, not anywhere, not even on the quiet roads where kindred spirits manifest —- in your fertile imagination.
You lope along being you, and talk to your hunting dog Vento.
Dammit, you scower the horizon but your desire is all at sea, floundering…
The shopkeeper laughs when you sit alone to enjoy the Greek dancing, the school’s end of the year performance in Eressos Square.
She will come, she will come, he says, narrowing his eyes as he draws on a cigarette.
You love the dancing, and the music that goes with it. There’s a new moon and the entire village it seems, is watching the performers.
First, the carefree little ones, full of gusto and awash in the innocence of cherubs.
They know their moves and sync their steps, sort of.
They’re followed by the group that exhibits an awkward restraint.
Budding breasts and gangly legs get in the way of nonchalance but oh, what beauties.
The seniors, well, you recognise some ex-pats in the dancing group and they seem too cerebral in their movements, not enough give in the knees, you know.
Nevertheless, it’s a lovely evening, and then it’s time for delicious.
You have a yawning taste for warmth, and sweetness, so your honey milk and cinnamon, she takes you to bed. Your delightful dairy belle.

The Traveller by Afrodykie

C is for … corner … also the one you have turned                                

THERE’S a taverna for just about every day of the week on Eressos Square, ok granted, a short week of four days.

 There’s life on the cobbled stones, sometimes more sometimes less.

The’re always fish sellers shouting over their loudspeakers, and the walruses are plonked, as usual, on their assets at Kolones.

Their Greek coffees thicken to mud at the bottom of tiny cups. Do they care, these rotund dons of the erstwhile drachma. No.

Even their lips don’t move.

At Kafene, your office, the internet fiends blink at their screens under one of the huge plane trees that shade the square.

A local, one of the people who empties the bins, he walks in panting, and helps himself to a 500ml beer from the fridge.

The beverage, whatever the brand, comes in half litre bottles.

Anything less doesn’t touch sides at 30 deg C, and rising — and it’s just 11am.

Other mavens of the good life the easy life, they do crossword puzzles, or simply sit and read, their frothies at alert.

It’s a good place to be, Kafene, if you don’t know the town, and even if you do.

Yiannis will raise his eyebrows, in his own Eureka moment, and tell you who fixes computers, who’s got a house to let, who’s who in the zoo — for whatever you need.

Next door, at the taverna run by a woman – a woman!, younger men sit flicking worry beads backwards and forwards over their hands.

They haven’t perfected it yet, that passive pose, but hell, the intention is obvious!

At Sam’s – Sam who gave you vegetables from his garden — at Sam’s on the opposite side of the square, regulars slap down backgammon discs from yellowed finger tips. Tobacco smoke twirls above their heads.

They sit in the shade and plant their feet at right angles to the chair legs. They’re open at the knees.

Yes, they stare too, but their mouths sort of open and close.

They flutter, a bit, when they shift in their seats to plot their next moves

All very good, but it’s time for a change, time for a yiro where the hill flattens out into the straight road to Skala.

Bingo! It’s the perfect spot for a delicious and cheap meal (E2), and you can watch the passing parade from your chair on the pavement.

It’s as dead as a door nail, GB in Joburg says when you post a picture on Facebook.

Wrong! Everyone who comes in and out of the mountain village passes here.

There’s movement at least every five minutes — at peak hour!

Take the grey-haired couple on a clapped out scooter.

They’re travelling uphill and the vehicle starts to complain. It slows down. The man, in front, steadies it on his tippy toes.

His passenger, well, she’s sitting side saddle behind him. Very demure!

She’s not even holding on to him and sort of slides off the saddle to retrieve her shopping bag in the crate on the back.

The driver revs the engine and leaves, without so much as a twitch of his ample moustache.

Then there’s another motorbike, chugging up the hill. The bloke on it urges it forward.

He’s leaning over the handlebars but the bike’s going so slowly he’s almost got to get off and push!

Other vehicles whip back and forth. You’re starting to recognise a lot of the people.

Ah, the tomboy on her two wheel mean machine, so black it glints in the setting sun.

Then there’s a guy in a clapped out red car, with no back window.

Castro he shouts, waving his arm.

And then the schoolgirls … four of them … so lithe in their long legs and short shorts.

They glide along the asphalt, they lead with their hips and kick their feet out in front of them.

They talk to each other in whispers, in glances from the sides of their eyes.

The words peep out from under their lowered lashes. O youth … resplendent in summer’s heat.

You’ve finished your yiro and It’s time to go. But alas, the shopkeepers don’t have change.

Never mind. Pay another day, they say, and decline to note your telephone number.

That’s Eressos, old school Eressos too — and you love it.


The Traveller by Afrodykie

B is for … no-no, not butch … it’s for Bins

GREEN wheelie bins are an integral part of the Eressian landscape.

They’re parked in random rows of about three, four or five, these visible sentries of stink.

They pop up anywhere, even on the gravel road outside the village, ugly things, without lids, and they get uglier and smellier the fuller they become.

Overflowing they are hideous! An eyesore and blight on this rugged agrarian landscape.

The bees and flies love them though, and so do the gangs of feral cats that guard each line as their private territory.

They stand their ground, these felines. They hiss with plastic bags hanging from their bad teeth, their eyes turned up to view the dogs who charge at them

Silly dogs, they invariably have to back off. The cats don’t budge.

They are intent on tearing apart the bags, vehemently. They won’t let go, not for anything.

 They know what they want: food.

One-eyed cats, scraggly straggly cats, cats with black noses, — yes, they have black tips on their noses the bin cats – they slink close to the ground, prowling, heads turn this way and that.

They protect their bounty, on their turf.

The Kaftan One, she points out their black noses to you, the Kaftan One who joined the Europride parade in Oslo this last weekend with Maria, her grandchild. Miss Muscles and Krolle were also there, and The Grunter.

Ah, your Norwegian friends. You miss having them here, to cook for, to love.

But you can’t miss a trip to the bins.

Oh no. Everything goes in or around those bins: all, all the waste from the house, including human waste, even mattresses and old chairs, tiles, discarded toilets, fish heads and entrails, you name it.

Yes. Mediterranean plumbing demands that you put your soiled toilet paper in a plastic bag and dispose of it yourself. Of course, you — everyone, even the tavernas, or any place you go – you let the receptacle next to the lavatory get full before you tie the bags handles and lob them into the greenies.

One old duck dressed in black, bent back and bandy legs, you see her leaning on her walking stick, about 6m from the bins near your place.

She’s not taking any chances. She twirls her bags — one, two, three four — and lets them spin through the air towards their landing place.

Yuk. The bags spray their contents and land splat on the ground.

The startled cats shudder then pounce.

They’re so at home at the bins that they sometimes recline on the detritus.

Comfortable. The kings and queens of the reeking castles.

They watch you as you walk by, each cat more dishevelled than the next, each cat smugger than the other.

It’s as if they’re saying bin there done that. But you’ve never heard one miaow.

Ps: You’re on your way home from your morning walk with Vento today and there’s Sam, from Sam’s on the square. He’s in his vegetable patch. He gives you beetroot, cucumber, green pepper, carrots. You’re eating from the soil of Eressos he says.

You love it. Eressian generosity. It’s a culture.

Ask the cats!



The Traveller by Afrodykie

A is for Abundance
WHEREVER you look, there is soooo much to see!
Fruit, flowers, butterflies, bees. Seagulls. Swallows and swifts.
A big big sky so blue it baffles the eye.
Olive trees feed their dangling offspring, new oblong olives — sort of light green — they grow bigger every day. They cling to their nurturers.
The old branches bend, weighted in their burgeoning bounty, winter’s harvest savours summer.
Grapes hang in heaving bunches, they swell to meet their potential sweetness.
And the valleys, oh the valleys on Madame’s sea rock walk, they’re dressed in polka dots of purple and pink. The vivid colours sprinkle brightness on a canvas that’s Karoo-like in its sameness: stubbly bushes, rocks.
Here though, there are mountains too, jutting monuments to their earth’s convulsions, an upheaval that shaped the island and gave it its healing waters, its shape.
The flowers!
Exquisite, tender, so delicate are they, so pretty.
They open slowly, something like love. They take a while to reveal their fulsome unique beauty. Patience. Every day they show a bit more.
Their faces wave in the wind, bow and bob. Slowly they lift the veil, curl from closed to open.
There’s a yellow carpet of fallen petals, a trim of goodbye on the side of the road.
Then a sight you didn’t imagine — hundreds of butterflies, hundreds of them on a mound of bush that resembles giant lavender.
The butterfly wings clap, quicken in their delight. They hover on the lilac, suck on the quivering spikes.
They are there for only one day, with the bees their companions humming to make honey.
Even now the cherry truck is in the square and the plums fall to the ground.
Everyone’s popping them into their mouths.
Despoina at Kafene gives you some, and so does one of the old ladies you met last week.
She’s sitting on her wall picking the fruit when she sees you with your packets of seedlings for her. She pops them into your hand, kindly mutters you feel you understand.
You hear so much too!
Cicadas at full throttle, the vendors shouting over their loudspeakers, the horses hooves that sound like soldiers marching on the cobble stones, the sheeps baas and bells, the hurrahs from the square when Greece scores a goal.
You love the laughs and cries of the neighbourhod children, the Greek music that sometimes plays loudly from one of the houses.
Then there’s the silence. It sprinkles quiet on the hot nights. It lulls you, holds you in its arms.
You smell the fresh air, the horse shit, the sheep shit, the dizzying fragrance of blossoms and blooms.
The food spreads it flavours into the air, the aromas drift lazily along the alleys, all the way to your ignorant nose.
You don’t know what’s cooking but you want to know. Sometimes you lick your lips.
Your teeth crunch into the crisp fresh fresh vegetables you buy at the greengrocer; flavours tickle your tongue.
And touch?
There’s the sand on your feet, yes, you feel that.
But you wonder … who will reach for the abundance, the love bursting in your heart.
Who will touch you.


The Traveller by Afrodykie

Just another day in paradise
THE closed fences open like the sea of whatsit — it’s easy when you know how — and you, your hunting dog Vento, and her friend Ermie, you dance on the gravel road to Madame’s sea rock in the sky.

Skippity hop bee bop a loola.

It echoes, that rock. You shout Ela Vento, Ela Ermie. It talks back to you.

Yooohooo reverberates too, in a voice as old as the centuries.

The echoes spill from the mouths of millennia.

The dogs’ floppy ears flatten and fly behind their heads as they chase each other and jump for joy.

They brake and skid, and arch their backs in sudden turns that raise the dust, their robust bodies melt into the mists of eternity.

The sheep stop their side-ways munching, and stare. But they have very short attention spans.

The bells around their necks go klonk klonk as they drop their heads to feed again.

Yes, it’s a blue blue sky a loud cicada day. The wind breaths gently on your skin.

Is that a kiss, dear air?

You meet Lista from Sappho Estates.

You’ve fallen in love with a village wreck with no roof, ok a roof, but it leaks.

A grande dame this, once, in need of some urgent TLC — tender loving care. You can see she’s good-looking, even in her dishevelled dress.

And the garden! It’s a jungle of door-high grass and rose bushes stretch into forever.

Shrivelled fruit hangs from hungry trees.

Yet, dreams whisper there. They beckon shyly. They dare you, the winikng blighters, to embrace them.

Time will tell, of course — she always does — whether this audacious flirtation will grow into a happy marriage.

I do I do I do. Adieu?

For now, you cling lick a tantalising perhaps …

At home, you tie your red and white umbrella to your bicycle, with a plastic bag.

You freewheel, mostly, to DaLuz, through Skala to buy some water, and then you bounce over the turtle bridge, to the sand around the corner.

Your umbrella blows into the sea while you’re floating wallowing on your back in the embracing Aegean.

It glides along the water, a striped boat sailing bobbing to better days.

You chase to retrieve it, to return it to you spot on the beach.

It’s marked by a kikoi, a rucksack, a tuna salad from the DaLuz beach bar, and your book — the The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt, perfect for the beach.

You try to insert the flighty thing into the sand but oh no, you’re an Eressos amateur, a rookie in the ways of this wonderland.

Let me learn you, says a dark-haired French woman.

She takes a rock and bashes the stem of the umbrella into the sand.

She has beautiful eyes and dark black hair. It curls around her smile.

Merci. Mercy.

Plastic water bottles filled with sand, they’re tied to the umbrellas; they anchor them and the lilos the women use to soften their sleepy sojourns on the sand.

They leave them there, day after day, night after night.

Just about every one is naked, of course, on this stretch of beach: the lesbians, the straight couples, some children.

Everyone’s comfortable in their birthday suits. Cocks, tits, scars, folds and fat. Cellulite, mastectomies, anything!

People bend over and happily show their where the sun don’t shine. But hell! Why not?

In Skala there’s tolerance and acceptance, and nobody stares.

Besides, many people have their noses buried in a book.

Yours is too, until you meet some friends, and chat and laugh. Fulsome frailties bared in mirth.

You try to follow the German …

It’s nearly 7pm when you ride your bike to the centre of Skala, where the taxis are.

But the drivers laugh when you indicate that they must load your bicycle in the boot for the trip up the hill to the village.

The prefects don’t co-operate, so you phone the headboy, Babis.

That gets them going.

Gregoris and another driver put the bike on some roofracks.

You laugh.

And so does Gregoris.