Intern’s Diary – June 22nd
10:00 – Jessica contacts the directors via e-mail.
11:00 – A late wakeup was had by some.
2:45 – We make a mad dash to the ferry to Thirassia.
4:00 – The island and its somewhat dilapidated buildings are explored by car; Carl stays behind and Ana stays with him. Peter, Ileana, Maroan, and Nina spearhead the expedition.
6:15 – The group decides to have a bite to eat before the boat ride back; this bite turns into a feast.
7:45 – The eating ceases.
8:30 – We leave the island by boat, followed by a cable car up to the town.
9:00 – Movie screenings at the Santozeum.
Ana: This day has been a strange and dusty one. Our short voyage seemed to have no end of preparation involved, what with the loading of box upon box of well-formed vegetables and the passengers themselves, but once we are off, the brisk sea wind is irresistible. It was found to be hardly possible not to thrust one’s face towards the waters, which are almost unbrokenly encompassed by the sheerest of low-lying, rocky faces. The cameras are whisked from our canvas bags with readiness. It is only after the boat’s cargo is dropped off and a mule is acquired when we know where to look, towards our destination, alien and not a little arid even from afar.
What takes many of us by surprise when the boat bumps into port is the emptiness. There is nobody to be seen unless you look – there are lush flowerpots and what used to be tavernas, but climbing up and up into the town yields little in the way of population. There is the occasional garrulous boy with a soccer ball, though, and the occasional spot of donkey traffic. Our return to the port is the most demonstrative of life on the island; in the taverna there, the man and woman who run it bring us no end of local cheese and vegetable cooked in any way delicious, with a hospitality that is surprising and delightful. What started as a snack became a feast that delayed our passage back.
When we do embark on this second boat, the trip is made in near-silence; when the cable cars swing us to the top of the twilit cliffs, I think we are finding it hard to forget our faraway journey of little distance.