This is my second Christmas…

… on the island. The last one was rather miserable and fraught with anxiety over my rather new fugitive status. I viewed all the Greek Orthodox ceremonies around the streets of the town from afar, and found them extremely alien. I’m not much of a Believer myself, not having darkened the doormat of a church since I was expelled from Sunday School for operating a lending library of comic books during the superintendent’s mini-sermon. It was a rather severe punishment, I felt. The comics weren’t even pornographic.

Last year, on Christmas Day, I sat in my rented “apartment” – a hotel room without hotel services – reading a John Grisham book from the mini-market. Being Christmas Day, only the big hotels were open and I didn’t fancy Christmas dinner Saga style. So it was biscuits, wine and brandy. And brandy, too, washed down with brandy. I don’t remember Boxing Day.

This year, by contrast, I was adopted by Eleni’s family, which is, of course, the local Pope’s family, and bemusedly participated in all the celebrations, religious and secular. It was a lot of fun, though I find Eleni’s murderous brothers a little hard to see as jolly party animals. More seriously, I think the family still visualise me as a credible future husband for Eleni. For a start, I never shopped the brothers for beating me up. And she still makes these eyes in my direction.

Greek Christmas stamp

Back home now, I’m off to Athens to collect Fauxhunter, whom I must learn to call Alfredo. There weren’t any cheap flights to closer airports.

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