Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Lost Tourist

Waking up to our last day, of a two week holiday on the sunny island of Crete and perturbingly the idea of going home actually appeals—shock horror!—never thought I'd hear myself say that.

I've eaten in every restaurant I wanted to re-visit and drunk every drink that appealed (with the odd early morning thick head afterwards. I've done the everything and the nothing I intended, as well as reached a total state of relaxation and calm, which is exactly what I was aiming for.

There are more signals that the time to go has arrived. Sitting by the pool has replaced any activity and conversation has become an effort... er... what was my name again? Also, I see worrying traits akin to the lost tourist beginning to emerge—god forbid and... the pigeons are closing in.

What on earth are you talking about!

Well... the lost tourist was first spotted in the old town, as he shot up a side street, alongside a souvlaki bar where my son and I were munching on gyros pita. He caught our attention because he didn't fit in with the usual relaxed flow, adopted by tourists in hot countries.

Before I could pop another chip into my mouth, he had reappeared from the side street looking shocked—wild white hair, protruding eyes—awash with the local firewater and long legs swinging forward in spasms. The increasing momentum propelling him off in an unstable manner in the opposite direction down the street.

The final time we saw him, it was cocktail time on the hotel terras. With the whole terras to choose from he plopped down in a cushioned, wicker arm chair right next to me.

Oh gawd—no!—but it's a free country—right? —So we ignored him.

Unfortunately, there are people you can ignore and those you won't let you... Gazing out to sea and in-between gulps from litre-sized, Mythos beers, he would laugh intermittently at nothing. Then, when the waiter shooed away the pigeons—advancing on the cheesy, starsign-shaped snacks accompanying our drinks—he positively roared with laughter. Why? Who knows—although it is said that laughter is good for the soul.

With no desire for contact, but feeling his eyes boring into my left shoulder—as I sketched—I decided on a furtive glance at our chuckling hyena. Through darkened sunglasses, I could see there was absolutely nothing to worry about. From his face, I could see that the lost tourist's flight to the planet, Zob had happily departed a long time ago.

[*Ooh, look a pigeon* . . . Ha ha ha!]

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