to the villa

I’d thought, looking at my map in advance of arrival to the island, that I would just disembark and walk from the port to the villa in Megalochori, judging it merely a couple of miles, assuming the same gentle sloping streets of sprawling Chora replicated on Santorini, but instead I got off the boat into a fearsome crush of tourists and other fresh arrivals by sea, barely able to move, and a string of transport-oriented kiosks at the foot of a cliff. I said this to one ride hawker who approached me, I was thinking I would walk, and he laughed and said You will die, my love, and then he charged me fifteen euro for a rear-bench spot on a cramped shuttle up-island.

On the winding road cut into the rock I played some kind of electronic riddle game with the pack of boyish Australians crowded into the back with me and listened to them talk about the weather with interest. One of them made another one promise to try olives when later they’d get to Morocco, to be open to olive conversion, and they shook on it, and I made a private bet-with-self about how it would go, never to be settled, because I will never see them again.