Shotgun Blues; Honeymoon of the Damned, Part Five

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.

21 thoughts on “Shotgun Blues; Honeymoon of the Damned, Part Five

  1. am i the first to read this??
    Talk abt bad luck.. i’m not surprised how jaded u r now!

  2. Um, isn’t the Aegean a Sea, not an Ocean? Sheesh! How am I ever going to get my 2 year old an Ivy League education when the only stories I read to her are either your blog or Pearl’s strips? Man, at least try for me, ok? 🙂

  3. And to think, all my life I thought that a shotgun wedding meant something else. By the way, Stephan. I hang out with a bunch that considers themselves experts at combining kayaks and Heinekens to reach inappropriate conclusions. We might be able to help you out the next time you want to be lost at sea.

  4. with that kind of luck for a honeymoon you might as well kayak all the way back to america 😀

  5. Best installment yet! I agree with earlier posts that you could think about a screenplay here, but a darkly comic novel (your metier) maybe?? : )

  6. After reading this blog, I’ve realized Greece and India are similar, only I’m pretty sure Greece doesn’t allow goats on the roof of their buses.

  7. Tell us when someone buys the movie rights, Stephan. It’s gonna happen sooner or later. This is epic.

  8. I’m voting screenplay.

    Wait – hasn’t this been made a screenplay? That one movie with Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy comes to mind.

  9. Yeah, I think a movie or book deal would be pretty sweet. You could get a pretty decent rom-com out of this.

  10. I like Staci. She’s obviously an amazing woman. To endure this honeymoon and still keep you when you returned stateside is the grandeur all women should aspire, too. Because I’m betting before too long we’ll be reading a blog about how she got you to make up for every minute of this honeymoon.

  11. Dude…i know why you’re still married. All the time Staci wasn’t talking to you, she was dreaming up ways to make the rest of your life as miserable as possible.

  12. You got to be a tour guide….OMG – I think trips like these are worth the stories alone!!!! Had my share of a few….Like the underground cave that the kid gives you a coleman lantern and tell you it’s out back…complete with Norm Bates stuffed birds and banjo music!! (and yes so what if the Aegean is “technically a sea” IT’S PART OF THE FREAKING OCEAN!!!!!!!) that is all.

  13. that does not happen even in India nowadays…. lol
    n who says goats r allowed on roofs of buses in India?? lol

  14. You kicked a guy in the nads while he was holding a shotgun? I can’t quite put my finger on it but I have a feeling that there’s a flaw in this plan somewhere.

  15. Stephan, I think your horribly ill-fated honeymoon beats mine in 1979, and then new re-marriage in 2002, but here are some grim details.
    1. We used an experienced travel agent and booked a five day cruise in the Bahamas.
    2. Horrified to find out we were stuck in a tiny cabin with SINGLE beds that were bolted to the floor. Remember, honeymoon!
    3. We were stuck directly under the kitchen. Horrible noise and banging, knocking, clanging from 6:00 a.m. until past midnight.
    4. About 500-600 wild and noisy, not to mention ill-behaved teens, on their class senior trip. Constant noise, crowds everywhere, running around everywhere and screaming, shouting — quite the nightmare.
    5. My new husband spent every minute playing the new Space Invaders. He wouldn’t tell me when or where he was going so I had to hunt him down. There were multiple places where the video games were so it took forever to find him.
    6. The travel agent never apologized.

    2002, second marriage:
    1. No honeymoon. New hubs was too cheap, not even one night in Las Vegas!! We spend our wedding night driving, all night for eight hours, from LV to L.A.
    2. Hubs claimed he knew where he was going, no worries. NOT.
    3. He got hopelessly lost, no map, didn’t ask for directions of course.
    4. After getting lost and wasting two hours (the drive usually takes six hours) driving in circles, he made a U-turn.
    5. That U-turn was observed by the local police, thus we were stopped. I was crying and pathetic, begging forgiveness because we didn’t know Las Vegas, were terribly lost in the dark, and it was our wedding night trying to get out of the city to LA. At least he let us go with a warning and told hubs some advice — to start out our marriage with a map! I thought that was funny.
    6. Finally got home in the wee hours and were too exhausted to ….. well, you know.

  16. As a guy getting ready to go on his honeymoon in two months, you give me hope that I can’t possibly screw up as badly as this.

    Thanks for the laughs.

  17. Your stories are so very funny, it always takes a long time before I manage to stop laughing. Great writing!
    Greetings from Germany! Friederike

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