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Easter Weekend in Santorini, Greece

Santorini

Pretty Santorini

I work on signs all weekend at the beach in exchange for food and wine.  Not a bad deal!  Although it’s been surprisingly cold.

My temporary boss might be crazy.  Or a drug addict.  I can’t tell which.  He’s constantly asking me to kiss him on the cheek which I refuse.  He thinks I’m playing hard to get.  I’m not playing.  I’m as serious as a heart attack.  No kisses.

He wears a gold Playboy bunny pendant which dangles over his hairy chest, exposed by a lack of button usage.  Buttons are sometimes important to prevent dry-wretching.  This is one of those instances.

Late in the day I am enjoying my food after a day’s work.  Fireworks are going off constantly, many homemade, because fireworks are illegal here.  But unlike other homemade things like homemade muffins, which are awesome, or homemade jelly, which is delicious, these homemade items can blow your face off.

I feel bad for all the stray animals that are certainly scared of all the racket.

The crowd coming into the restaurant is shady.  Really shady.  Men with suits and sunglasses escort women who are dressed to the hilt and caked with makeup as thick as Chicago-style pizza.  I smile at them, terrified, and they scowl back.  It’s possible I am in the middle of a mafia meeting.  Is there a mafia in Greece?  Do they have meetings at seaside restaurants?  Not sure.  But the tide is changing.  I’m not comfortable here.  Gotta move on soon.

After seeing my sign work, a job offer is given by one of the mysterious characters.  “As much work as you want”, he says.  Needing money, I consider it for a couple days.  Eventually I decide that he’s too shady and I don’t want to be deported and blacklisted from Europe, so it’s a no.  But after talking with other people it’s clear that an American can (illegally) find work here very easily in the Spring.

On Saturday night the fireworks intensify and I walk back to the safety of my hotel.  From there I can view the pyrotechnic spectacle emanating from the church courtyard when the clock turns to midnight. Bells ring and bombs explode, their sound magnified by the continuous echos from the surrounding mountains.

On Easter day I go to see Judas get shot.  I thought I would love this, but it turns out that loitering in a crowd full of testosterone-filled men with rifles is not my idea of a good time.  I move far to the back, and am surprised by the number of families with small children standing right behind the shooters.  Despite the presence of at least 20 guns, it’s all very casual.

The shooters move into line.  The hanging Judas is ten yards away.   A call is made and the shooting begins.  They shoot and shoot, advancing at the hanging remnants until there is not one molecule of Judas left and the string from which he hangs is broken.  With that, the crowd disperses anticlimactically.  A good time for the whole family!

Happy Easter from Santorini!

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