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Anna Cominos

52 weeks in Tsirigo – Happy 2008

Kalli Minia ke Kalli Hronia (Good month & a Good Year) to all and May peace and humanity prevail and above all good health. The sea is swelling and the bright wintery days of the yiortes (holidays) have been replaced by overcast, bleak rainy days and chilly nights. The bitterness of heemona (winter) is exacerbated further by Tsirigo’s isolation.

What you ask Kythera isolated? Yes since late September we have been plagued by the terminally painful and tedious Boat Syndrome. Initially, the island’s smaller ship that connected the Peloponnese (Neapolis) to Kythera -The Andreas, was supposedly sold-off to an African nation so one fine day in September it just stopped.

That left the Tsirigotes (Kytherians) with the antiquated ship Myrtidiotissa (named after the island Patron Saint -Our Lady of the Myrtle) as our only sea connection to the known world -I write known because I think even the Minoan colonies that lived in ancient Skandeia (Avlemonas/Paliopoli) had more regular sea connections.

Since then the Myrtidiotissa has monopolised all sea connections, performing … well let’s just say less than par ... beginning with the ship’s crew occupying the Myrtidiotissa so as to retrieve their substantial unpaid wages. The ship almost went under the hammer. (Sincerely Greece has some cool labour laws left that the rest of the world can only admire). Once those delays were cleared up then came the rumours about the backdoor being problematic. And once the delays began they kept up their rhythm.

And so the talk in the kafenions (cafes) turned away from how much had been gambled illegally in cards and dice to Pote tha erthi to karavi (when would the ship come). Randomly ask anyone and everyone is in ‘the Know’ (my cousin’s god-daughter’s sister works in the same supermarket as the Phillipino woman who irons the shirts of the neighbour of the Purser….reaaaallllly!!!!!!) Now after a week-long absence and with the ‘show’ back to normality on Monday it supposedly leaves Saturday morning……but I wouldn’t put my Euros on it.

But enough naval contemplation (sea-pun)!!!

2008 is as ripe as any time for serious environmental considerations and action in Kythera…… just as the rest of globe is facing. It might a paradise that took life in oral stories in the back of Cafés in country Australia or other remote hotbeds, but it is also a living thriving reality – that accumulates garbage and sewerage and that is experiencing a building-boom that has never been seen here.

What Kythera needs in 2008 is a global brains trust, Rather than re-inventing the wheel daily – major issues, social, environmental and more can be put forward and various solutions offered by our diasporas family. 2008 marks the exact time when the exchange of ideas and the sharing of professional knowledge can overtake the donation of dollars to rebuild crumpling churches and sofades (cement rendering). Kythera-Family.net has proven that kythophiles can share precious intimate connections – we are already thinking outside the box…….let’s take a further step into the future in 2008. Feel free to email on [email protected]
regarding forming a Kythera Brains Trust.

Have a great 2008 and speak to you next week that is if I haven’t succumbed to the urge of to build a ‘Gilligan Island’ style cane windsurfer and go hear Woody Allen play jazz in Athens!!!

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