I’ve made it to Corfu. Today is my fourth day here and I am sitting in the garden of my house.
The view is pretty spectacular….
Have you ever seen a baby hummingbird before? Well, I literally just did. I thought it was a bug! But no. A beautiful baby hummingbird. Wow.
Again, I haven’t had very much time to process everything. The past three weeks I spent traveling through Croatia, Bosnia and Herezegovina, Montenegro, Kosova, and Albania. There were many wonderful events and I met some of the most incredible families. Today is the first day I’ve had a moment to write. When I arrived on Corfu, there was a lot to do in the house.
For those who do not remember, I am in Corfu renting a house in Sinarades; a village town west of Corfu Town. I’ll be here for two months writing, playing music (Sadly, the piano here was damaged from water that came in by the leaky roof. The top three octaves are impossible to play but I have my guitar!), riding my motorcycle, and doing little jobs here and there at Robin’s Nest Bar (Robin, the owner of the bar, is renting me the house in Sinarades.)
The house hasn’t been occupied in several months. Leaving me a lot of sweeping, mopping, and scrubbing. I usually get completely “type A” with these things and feel the need to get it all done in one go. However, this time I’ve been fixing it up slowly; one room a day and sometimes the same room again.
There are no hotels in Sinarades. Only a few tavernas and a great place that is a café at day, bar at night where the owner, Giannis, and his right hand man, Fotis, work everyday. I met these two three years ago during my first visit to Corfu. They welcomed me back with open arms and a glass of Ouzo. So, even though I am alone in this old house, I feel safe having them down the alleyway.
Last night I woke up at 3am to some suspicious sounds outside, that then moved into the ceiling. Mice or maybe a Greek version of squirrels would have been a God send. This sounded more like a large dog moving above me.
At first I was terrified. Many scenarios ran through my head. I know many people wonder what I’m doing here and more so why I’m alone. In the Balkans, the introductory question everywhere I went was, “Are you single? Why? Why/how are you traveling single???” I’m fairly certain this little traditional village wants to ask me the exact same questions.
I thought about what HAPPENED to the widow in Zorba the Greek. It seriously ran through my head that the villagers were outside my house, waiting to punish the single woman!
Once I began to logically think that through, I found that my fear had suddenly turned into anger. I was not going to be bullied by anyone or anything!
There really is no possible way to get inside the house stealthily. Climbing through the window would be very difficult, and the obstacles under the windows would detain the intruder/s long enough for me to grab the metal pole to the broom I keep in the kitchen (I seriously planned out these details.)
With my newfound courage, I got up, turned on the light, and started stomping around the house. I have always had problems sleeping alone in a big house, so this act was surprising. I felt proud of myself and with the last of my pride and courage I looked out the windows. Nothing. Nothing was there. The sound in the ceiling ceased.
My anger, even more provoked by lack of sleep, enveloped my entire being and this new experience of pride and courage resulted in absolutely no possibility of sleep.
Three episodes of Homeland later, a blue light started to shine through the window. I got up and went out to the garden. No evidence of any animals or angry townsmen. I climbed up to the patio and took pictures of the sunrise.
Dark clouds hovered over Albania and distant thunder sounded. Sinarades, nestled in the hills, began to bustle with life.
After a few hours of sleep, I went down to Giannis’s for a coffee. His sister was working. Several Greek men sat outside of the café. With their coffees they sat, twirling their “worry” beads, talking and scoping out the main road. A small boy was crying outside of the cafe and several of the men were comforting him and aiding what looked like a bloody lip.
I was welcomed with smiles and many “kalimeras.” Apparently, I was not the “single woman” needed of punishing but more so, the curious foreign girl who is living in Ono’s House; the name of my house-Ono being the original owner who passed away some years ago. Ono was also a foreigner. From one of the Slavic countries…I think (?) Over 6 feet tall, and always wearing a cowboy hat, he would walk around the village like a giant…with a cowboy hat.
Everyone said “kalimera” to me. The more time I spend around the village, the more I see how everyone knows and watches after each other. This is the community I’ve been searching for. This is exactly what I asked for.
I cannot wait to share it with you.
AND to share it with all the visitors that are coming! I am so excited to see you all!
6 responses to “Sinarades”
I got your story from an american friend, who has the house next us. We were your neighbours yust next to you a little bit up the terrace. I have seen you sometimes and hearing your music. We enjoyed your pictures.We are staying in Sinarades about 6 month and now we are home again in Holland. By the way the owner Onno was also coming from Holland and a very good friend. We still miss him because he was very special. May be we hear fom you sometime. Regards Marita/Gunther
Hello! Thank you for the comment. I never met Onno, but I heard so many incredible stories from Robin and the people in Sinarades village. Maybe I will see you again this summer! Happy new year!
You were our neighbor and we didn’t know it. I am also American (one of the view besides Robin) and can relate to your memory of Zorba. But no worries .. the noise might have been Marita’s cat or the big mice (a type of squirrel). We own the second house on the right (white with green shutters) on the left fork as you walk up to Yorgo’s. You can also get to our house if you turn right and go up towards Marita and Gunter’s. Our back patio is on your left from the pink house at the dead end.
We knew Yorgo VERY WELL .. he is sincerely missed and was much more of a character than you or anyone can truly describe.
Glad you enjoyed the village. It is special.
Hi and thank you! I truly LOVE Sinarades and the entire community. It has certainly become like a second home. I am hoping to come back this summer and hope to meet you then!
Kalimera! Your evocation of the widow in Zorba makes for a great tale….but don’t forget that although they’re both “Greek Islands,” Corfu and Crete are world’s apart in many respects! Can’t wait to see you there. Thanks for another great post!
I cannot wait!!!! I will happily stomp around the house with you in the middle of the night to ward off ceiling lurkies!!!! Remember that scene in Totoro in the bathtub????
I love you! Counting down the days!!!!