I only nipped in to get a postcard I swear. I guess that from then on a number of circumstances, circumstances which I am sure dear reader, you will agree leave me entirely exonerated of any possible complicity ( that’s a posh version of ‘its not my fault’, did you like it?).
You see it’s partly about the end of the tourist season. There I was, on the last stage out of Dodge visiting a shop in a little village high up in the Cretan mountains. Several scuttling black clad ladies had reported my progress in towards the town square. By the time I parked my pushbike beside the shop, Alexandros had the hopes and fears of at least three living generations and a goat resting upon his shoulders, as well as Zeus knows how many that had crossed the Styx. And here I was threatening to part with a mere thirty cents. Quite a lot of national pride was involved.
After a negotiation the nature of which I still feel slightly confused about I departed with two bottles. One containing something that his grandfather put together from a secret recipe involving herbs and lots of alcohol. This I vaguely understand to be unobtainable outside the village, there may even have been false versions circulating in inferior shops and bars lower down the street. A sure winner to go with the Christmas dinner. A snip at merely 15 Euros.
The second bottle was thrown, no it wasn’t actually, was lowered gently to my basket as a gift to say thank you for handing over such a ridiculous sum for something unlabelled, unlikely to go through customs scrutiny, and probably poisonous. The second bottle, filled with a strange clea liquid that moved like a viscous oil, was complicitly described as lion’s milk. A form of mountain Raki.
“Very good for the …..”, and here he made a forearm gesture. The shocked look on the face of a passing nun left little doubt as what he felt it might be good for, as events panned out I am sure she need have had no worries.
Well I completed my ride to the Lasithi Plateau and after that it was all downhill ( theres a joke there which I am sure you will all struggle to winkle out…).
The next morning a demon slipped the bottle of Raki in to my daysack and I took the boat to Spinalonga. I had no intention of drinking it you see but…… If the guy serving the orange juice hadn’t had so much spare ice I might have got away with it. If She Of The Townhouse hadn’t been such a wimp and drunk her fair share I might have got away with it. If the day hadn’t been so hot and the shade so inviting I might not have been tempted.
It was everyone else’s fault. I am sure you can see.
I came round several hours later with a raging thirst beside a clear empty bottle, completely unable to explain how I had managed to lose a large chunk of the day and my shorts.