A series of anecdotes with or without any connection to the running of a restaurant.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Life Journeys....

July 1978.
Nikos, my Greek friend came back to Sunderland after a year out. He had spent it working for his ship-owner cousin repairing and selling ships.
The day he came back I had steak for the first time in months in the best hotel restaurant in town. Two bottles of Médoc and a great night out.

He had driven back from London in a second-hand Land Rover he had just bought.
“We’re going to Greece for a holiday!” he announced.
“When are we leaving?”
“As soon as we find two adventurous girls willing to join us!”

Several expeditions to local night clubs failed to uncover a pair of Sunderland lasses open-minded enough to embark on a blind European journey so, a few days later, we loaded up our luggage and headed south on our own.

Just 35 miles down the A1, on the outskirts of Darlington, the engine blew up!
We tried to get it repaired but ended up selling the jeep for scrap!

Undeterred, we hired a van and drove to London where we bought two £28 return coach tickets to Athens.

I spent a wonderful month in a tiny Greek village enjoying the hospitality of Nikos’ family. We lazed around all day on the local beach, visited his relatives for coffee and baklava and then wined and dined the nights away in friendly country tavernas.

At the end of the holiday I left Piraeus on a nine-month sea journey that took me to West Africa, around the Med and all the way to Madagascar working my way from grease monkey to third engineer. Paid holiday!

The time of my life!


Blogger Brian the Mennonite said...

Your travelling post got me to thinking a wide variety of thoughts...but mostly about how our little travels of life make up part of our current personality definition. Have you ever wondered how much those tens months travelling have specifically shaped who you are today?

I love your "paid holiday" remark...wouldn't it be nice if they could all be so? and all so full of carefree adventure?

13/4/06 4:12 AM  
Blogger wandering-woman said...

Wow, that is a life's journey, cream. Somehow I like knowing you always had the zest for life and adventure you have now.

13/4/06 1:51 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Brian, they say travel broadens the mind and I can assure you that it is true especially around Africa! I was blessed to have travelled and got paid for it! The work itself was just secondary!

WW, it was my kind of travel! I did my beach holidays when I was a kid. Meeting people, sharing mundane stuff together, laughing, eating... My kind of life!

13/4/06 3:47 PM  
Blogger Viking054 said...

Hm... Sounds like a good time! I feel bad you couldn't find any girls though ;)

13/4/06 7:12 PM  
Blogger Ale said...

did you guys find adventurous girls on location at all???

13/4/06 7:33 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Who would've guessed that Viking and Ale would pick up on the "Girls" bit?
Don't feel bad, Viking! Can imagine 1500 miles with two strange people? I would've felt sorry for the girls!

Ale,"un bacio con gelato" is all I can remember when we met a couple of Roaming girls!

13/4/06 7:43 PM  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

I took Greek lessons before my second trip. All I can remember is how to order wine and ask "Eimai Elefteros?"

Sounds fab x

13/4/06 8:16 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Yes, Cherry! Free as a bird, eh?Kokino Krassy para kallo!

13/4/06 11:03 PM  
Blogger wendy said...

Eh? What's that? Another language or gobbeldy-gook?

Now how did you get from ships to chips? Have you written about it before...is there a post I can check out...or must I trawl through all the archives? (Not that that would be a tedious mission...I just need to find the time!)

14/4/06 12:06 AM  
Blogger cream said...

"Red wine, please!" in Greek, Wendy!
I wrote this a while ago: Navel what?
You still up!

14/4/06 12:20 AM  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

Mm-hm, I did think that you wouldn't need those girls after all. In fact, they would've hampered your freedom.

Wot a holiday, wot a holiday!

14/4/06 4:29 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Gigi, I am sure they would have!
It was an amazing holiday and then 9 months on the ship, I really loved it!

14/4/06 7:52 PM  

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