It is an old boat from Ikaria to Samos, mostly empty, with a shoddy salon that is in keeping with a voyage through time. Our little jeep rests in the hold along with a half dozen other cars, several trailer tractors, and a mail truck.
      In the dusky salon, a few truck drivers sit together at a table, drinking Greek coffee, and talking about the failing Greek economy. Every few minutes a pair gets up and pushes open the heavy door to stand on deck and smoke cigarettes in the heat of the afternoon sun. The other passengers sit in ones and twos at the round, chipped tables, and several have commandeered lumpy couches and lie stretched out asleep before we leave shore.
      It is a two and a half hour journey to the port of Karalovasi, where the old tub quickly unloads those going ashore, brings on another batch, hauls anchor, and pushes back out to sea again.
      Our little blue Suzuki Jeep clatters down the gangway, and we buzz along the coast of Samos, headed for our hotel on the outskirts of the port village of Vathi. 
      In the morning, we leave the little jeep in the hotel’s parking lot, catch a ride down to the port, and wait in line to clear customs. There are perhaps forty or fifty others in the line, and nothing happens for the first half hour. When the line finally begins to move, and we land in front of the Greek immigration official, it turns out that I’m over the three month limit for a non-EU citizen and that I am liable for a fine of 300 euros. But because Mina has Greek citizenship she’s exempt. They wind up in a conversation about the island where we live, Ikaria and when the immigration official finds out that I’ve been taking care of the olives and planting new trees, he smiles and lets me off the hook. 

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29