When you’re waiting in line in America, and your wife kicks a man in the back, you’ve got trouble. In Greece, it’s called “being in line.”
So the man that Staci kicked did nothing. He barely looked back at us.
It was tempting to start punching him in the back of the head, just to see how far we could push it, but our boat for Santorini arrived.
When we docked in Santorini, the boat was greeted by a massive swarm of people. And I mean massive. Think United Nations rice drop in Chad, but not as orderly.
Each person carried a placard. And on each placard was a picture of the person’s house and a few words about how close it was to the beach. We took the one that looked the closest to the beach.
We got in the man’s van. It began to go uphill. Up a long series of narrow switchbacks with no rails.
I don’t know who the person in Greece is that determines how wide you make the road on the side of a cliff, but apparently they decided it should be no wider than a Yugo. God forbid someone is coming in the other direction, because you’re not gonna fit, and eventually you’ll be forced to draw straws to determine who pushes whose van into the Aegean.
I suppose that’s why they don’t have rails. It makes pushing the other guy’s van into the Aegean that much harder.
But the Gods didn’t want us dead. At least not via car accident. So we got to the man’s house. It was late at night.
I could not hear the shore. Which is bad when you get a house that is supposed to be by the shore.
Either the Aegean was the only ocean in the world without waves, or we had been ripped off.
It was too late for a fight. So we went to bed, ready for one good night of sleep.
Then we heard the shotguns.
Booming shotguns, each of which rattled the glass doors of our upstairs bedroom.
I looked out our window. Three Greek men were drinking beer and shooting shotguns.
I didn’t remember them advertised on this guy’s placard.
I knew at this point I was going to die. Not from these guys. But from Staci, who was sitting up in bed. She hadn’t talked to me since Italy, but at least now she was glaring at me, and that was progress.
When we got up in the morning, the owner of the house told us in his broken English that it was bird-hunting season and his house was in a field where they shot birds.
Staci wanted to kick him, but she had already kicked one Greek man that week, so it was my turn. So I kicked him where it really hurts. I told him we weren’t paying.
Before I tell you what he said, I should mention that I am Greek. But growing up, I was the only kid in the family who didn’t have to go to Greek school and learn the language. So I rarely understood what anyone on this trip was saying. However, my wayward cousins had always been quick to teach me one thing: every bit of Greek profanity one little Greek-American’s brain could hold.
So when I told the man we weren’t paying, his reply was the only time in Greece that I understood every word someone was saying.
He also let it be known he would not drive us back to the port. And we could not use his mopeds. So we packed our bags and walked.
And walked and walked and walked.
Until we got to a bus stop. When the bus came, it was so filled that there were people on the roof. I thought that only happened in India. But no, it also happens on Stephan’s honeymoon.
Thus, when the door of the bus opened, there was no room.
So Staci made room.
She pushed the people down the center line of the bus so hard that I think one of them got shoved out the back window. She was now Greek like the rest of us.
When we got to the beaches, we sat on the black sand and had Heinekens and gyros.
It was the only nice moment of the trip since London.
So I thought I’d push my luck. I told Staci we should rent a kayak.
She shook her head.
So I rented the kayak myself. And went out into the ocean. And was amazed at how fast you could go in a kayak.
In my drunk mind, I was very fast with an oar. Heck, I was more than fast. I was magical.
And so Magical Me looked back at the shore and saw that I was hundreds of yards away. Being pushed by a very fast current.
So instead of being magical, I was just lost at sea.
I wanted to see Staci’s face one last time. But I was much too far away.
Which was probably good because if she saw that the husband that had engineered this fine honeymoon was now lost at sea, she’d surely celebrate with another Heineken.