Monday, July 09, 2007

A Greek Odyssey

Having been back a week, I guess it’s about time I got off my backside and wrote about the trip. And what a fun trip it was!

Like I said before, the actual conference (and legitimate reason for being in Greece in the first place) was during the week but four of us left on Saturday morning itself to catch the weekend there. Originally there were supposed to be eight of us, but half the group didn’t get their visas – so then there were four.

We decided to spend the two and a half days we had in Mykonos. It’s not got any historical/ mythological sites of interest (or if it does, we didn’t bother finding out) nor is it amongst the most beautiful of the islands (though it is beautiful on an absolute scale) but if you are in the mood to party, then Mykonos is the place to go. It’s kind of like a cleaner, prettier and more Mediterranean version of Goa.

Since it was a 4 a.m. flight from Mumbai, we decided to kick-start the partying and met up at a bar near the airport. The plan was to tank up and then get some good sleep on the flight but eventually we just spent most our flight time chatting. I also finally got around to seeing The Namesake, which I just completely loved. I think this might be one of the first few cases of the movie being better than the book.

Our flight into Athens was slightly delayed, so we had race across to the port to get to our ferry in time. Also, there was some big mix-up in the tickets so we finally had to buy fresh business class tickets. Other than that, the ferry ride was pretty uneventful. It was really, really hot (46 degrees!) so we stayed inside most of the time but we did venture onto the deck for a bit of sea breeze for a while…

We stayed at a place called Pension Marina – functional (a clean loo is all I need) and inexpensive (66 Euros for 3 nights for shared rooms in peak tourist season). The place was typically Mediterranean – with the whitewashed walls and blue doors and windows. Here’s a picture of me working on the previous post just outside my room…

We were there for two full days and spent most of the daytime on the beach. Modesty, tummy fat and stretch marks compelled me to buy only one-piece swimwear but I was seriously the most over-dressed person on the beach, bar none. Even ancient grannies with saggy boobs and even more saggy thighs were in bikinis, often wearing only the bottoms…

Even otherwise the Mykonos beach experience was quite an eye-opener for us desi hicks. There was nudity and homosexuality on full display, to the point where it stopped making our jaws drop open… in fact, we attracted more attention than most because we were a group of three girls with one guy – one of the waiters even went far enough to tell our friend – ‘You come to Mykonos with three women. You are a lucky man.’ :-)

I also learnt a new skill – I learnt to drive a buggy. Our earlier plan had been to hire bikes but since the visa debacle left us with only one guy in our group, we were severely compromised in the transportation department. So it was either me learning to ride the buggy or us spending a mini fortune in taxis. It was a bit scary at first but I got the hang of it pretty quickly and was racing around Mykonos pretty soon…

The nightlife is Mykonos is pretty happening and we did different things on all the three nights we were there. The first night, being exhausted from the plane and ferry rides, we just did a quiet dinner at a little Mediterranean café. Of all things Greek, I tried a drink called ouzo (hated it), a dish called moussaka (quite liked it) and lots of feta cheese (loved it).

On the second night, we drank loads of margharita at a lovely bar, which had a balcony hanging over the water, followed by dinner at a waterfront café. We had planned to go clubbing as well but dinner got over way past midnight and we were all ready to turn in after a hectic day on the beach.

So on the last night, we decided we totally had to let our hair down and danced the night away at a happening nightclub. The high point was when we got the DJ to play the only Punjabi song he had (isn’t it amazing that he had Punjabi music at all!)… We finally called it a night at five in the morning, which explains why I looked like this the next day...

Then we headed back to the Athens for the conference, which was great as well. It was so great to meet people who you so far only communicated with by mail/ phone and finally get to put a face to the name. There were also a lot of fun parties in the evenings and the last day had an exciting Amazing Race style race through Athens, so we got to see all the key sights.

And then we were back to horrible, rainy Mumbai. Our flight had to circle Mumbai for over two hours and almost got diverted to Karachi. And even once we landed and got out of the airport, it took us almost two hours to reach home, driving through water that was almost knee-high in places. That was truly the least fun part of the trip because by that time, I was dying to see my little baby and every minute of delay was extremely irritating. When I finally got back, I got a quick hug and was immediately put to work reading a book. It felt good.

Oh and the Punjabi song at the nightclub wasn’t all. We also spotted a blonde girl on the beach carrying this bag... isn't that bizarre?

For reasons best known to itself, Blogger won't let me put a title to this post. Can someone tell me how to fix that, please!

Update: As is self-evident, the title issue has been fixed. Thanks Boo.


  1. Oh my.. Can you see me going green with envy? Sounds like you had a ball and then some ! How did Ayaan cope? From the picture, I'm guessing he did well enough !

  2. What fun! I loved Greece and Greek food. Being a vegetarian, thats really something! Your post had me smiling through out, remembering my trip!
    BTW, the title problem seems to be affecting a lot of people including me. Hoping blogger rectifies it soon.

  3. i guess blogger is as jealous as i am after going thru ur post.... greek food, greek lifestyle....yumeeee.... no greek men? ;)

  4. beaches, buggies and night clubs - u sure know how to have a ball!!!

  5. p.s. I am jealous too!

  6. What fun! I'm beginning to regret - just a little - turning down the chance to join Moppet's Papa there.

    Oh, and the title thing - your num lock must be on. I had the same problem just now.

  7. Nice :)

    regd the bag - we get those in stores called 'World Market' - aptly named as they bring in stuff from all over, esp East and good people pay good money to walk around in them :)

    Our block-printed skirts and lac earrings and bangles are huge!

  8. what lovely pictures.. and what a terrific time you seem to have had... i am jealous. when i go back to work i will take every damn junket on offer

  9. [Poppins] I don't think he's at the age where he actively misses me, especially if my mom is around. And the picture was actually taken a couple of months ago, it just fit with the post...

    [Boo] It's a cool place, no? I hope to be able to go back with family some day.

    [SomethingtoSay] I guess I went to Greece about 7 years and one baby too late to catch any Greek men :)

    [Sudha] It helped that I was with some really fun people in a really fun place

    [Moppet's Mom] You should have come! Will try out the Numlock thingy. Thanks.

    [Rads] And here we buy them for about a dollar and use them to shop for veggies :)

    [Mad Momma] Somehow I doubt that :)

  10. Rohini - the num lock did nt work for me. but found out that if you place the cursor on the top part of the title box, on the horizontal line, you get the text cursor and if you click, voila! It works! Try it and let me know.

  11. [Boo] Yay! It worked. Thanks.

  12. Ok, I finally believe that you are tall. :)

    Seems like a great trip. I would say that I'm jealous, but I'm not. I just know I'd have slept in all that sun and wasted the weekend!

  13. Am I jealous or am I jealous. What flabby stomach are you talking about???? And what a great place. Now I go off to sulk in a corner...

  14. Oooh, your hair is getting so long again. You look great, except in that hung-over picture! :-)

    Sounds like a grand time. Getting away is always made that much better by how much you appreciate being home again with your kid(s) afterwards, too!

    Have a great week, Rohini!

  15. you know, i really admire you for having a kid and a career and a life beyond mommyhood and the 'everydayness' it brings as well. i'm sure it is very tough. your honest posts never hide that fact. and seem to be pulling it off. so good for you:)


  16. Hi Rohini

    Found your blog through Shome's a while back and been reading it regularly. You write really nicely - and the trip sounds great :-); are the Greeks as effusive, loud and colourful as Gerald Durell would have us believe?


  17. Hey, lovely pics! As they say, you shoulda done what the Romans did in Rome. :)

  18. Glad you are back. Sounds and looks like a grand trip!

    Can I just say I did not like the movie as much as the Book, The namesake. I think the movie showed the immigrant story through the parents very well but completely lost out on the son Gogol's angst with dientity touching on it only fleetingly. Tabu and Irfan's acting made their story so real and so relate-able - these bits I loved - but the mainstay of the story was compltely lost to me - also all the technical details like ICICI boards at the back of teh station were imperfections that grated on my nerves. Loved the book a lot more.

  19. commenting here first time.

    lovely pix. looks like a lovely place. agree with a comment above - you seem to be having a ball post mommyhood too - hats off to you!

    btw those bags have us in splits every time we spot one with stuff like 'chhapan chaap bidi' and sequined too. sell for about £25 at the V&A museum. someone very smart has been marketing them obviously!

  20. [Sue] And till now you thought I was making up the fact that I was tall??? :)

    [Karmickids] Hidden in the folds of that T-shirt lurks a flabby stomach - not hugely so but enough to discourage bikin-wearing

    [Talena] And I don't look half as bad as I felt

    [Sarah] It seems like that doesn't it. But trust me there bare days when my sanity is hanging by a thread - a very thin one at that...

    [Yashodhara] Not the ones we met - they were quite grumpy and rude, actually. Have been hearing about your blog too - will come across and say hi in a bit

    [Sujatha] I trust you mean the bikini? I wish I had atually...

    [30in2005] Actually, I had found the book slow and draggy. But I agree with you - the stars of the show are Tabu and Irfan - Gogol's characterisation was less than impressive.

    [Namvor] What a business model. Now if only I could figure out some equally ingenious way to make a quick buck...

  21. Grumpy and Rude - how sad!

    Thanks for your comment on my blog-'Delurking' - ha ha ha ha. Yes, I officially delurk. Also, I am linking up to your blog from mine, hope that's okay.

    Looking forward to reading your past and future posts :-)

  22. Yes, I mean the bikini (or may be not even the bikini, eh?). :) I saw an old lady at my pool yesterday and I really admired her guts, but as I'm slowly realizing, with age, you don't really care about those things as you grow older. You've been there and done so many things, a few bags in the wrong places is not going to faze you. I think.

  23. wow it's like you have the best of both worlds - married with children as well as the single life. more power to you!

    as for the greeks, it sounds like they live by the 'women for procreation, men for pleasure' philosophy.

  24. you know me too well :D

  25. you know me too well :D

  26. you make him wear a T shirt that says "read my Mommy's blog".. ha ha.. thats pretty obsessive...

  27. Wow. looks like you had a real blast. Man, I would love to take off like that (without hubby and son)-if Mykonos is far then goa would do!

    also, i too loved the namesake.

  28. [Y] Does anyone ever mind bein linked up??? Link away. Will link you on mine too.

    [Sujatha] I think it's also about prrevailing dress codes. I guess no one gives you a second glance in Europe but wear a bikini in India and people do stare...

    [Mosilager] Best of both worlds can be fun but is also exhausting... had to ignore desperate jet lag to hang out with Ayaan once I got back...

    [Mad Momma] :)

    [Shome] Cute, isn't it?

    [Lawyeramma] Do it. You won't regret it...

  29. Great photo's, looks like you had a blast, would love to go to Greece...maybe one day!

  30. Well, let's just say that the earlier photos (from Ayaan's party for example) didn't indicate your height. If anything, the angle made you look short!

    You know what? This is akin to having a penpal. I mean, we've spoken, exchanged stuff and I couldn't even decide if you were tall or short. What do you think, am I short or am I short?

  31. I am sooooo J- i want to go too
    does your workplace have any branch in chennai

    and U look wonderful in the pics

  32. loved the pics and y're looking great. hot mamma! did you see my comment in yr previous post? mizz zen has taken full responsibility for making me send an invite to read tara's blog to ro rao instead of you. :)

  33. [Just a grail] Defintely worth going there sometime.

    [Sue] Well, didn't you used to write 'tall, thin, brown' or something like that in your profile. So, I'm going with tall.

    [Artnavy] They do but the Chennai guys weren't part of the Greece trip :)

    [Aqua] Well then invite me already...

  34. :( i've closed down my baby blog but programming is still on at my regular blog.

  35. now i think i have a chance to recognise you guys when you walk down the street... so if a random guy comes up to you saying, "excuse me, but aren't you the famous accomplished blogger of mama says so," don't be surprised.

    i haven't forgotten about your tag, it's still on the to-do list.

  36. Oh damn... that's cheating.

  37. Hi Rohini, Great post. I love reading travel blogs. Nice pictures too. It's always interesting to see what people look like after reading their blogs for a while. You look much younger than I had pictured.