20 Hours in a Remote Island
By Reza Ganjavi
Getting off the airplane the humidity and fragrance of the island were immediately noticeable – very beautiful.
It’s important to know the taxi price before, otherwise you get taken for a ride. He was a nice simple man, and gave good info about the island.
Met several nice people, from various places. Her friend was unhappy that Anna didn’t want to stay at the banana farm which offers accommodation. But you do like bananas don’t you Anna? :) She said she doesn’t like “Bun-galows” – and said that with such funny Italian intonation: the “bun” pronounced as boon- separated melodically from “gallows”. Sooo funny!
Arose early since the island’s time is 2 hours behind Central Europe. Set out for the walk that was to happen later in the day. A new friend from Netherlands, a nuclear engineer, joined. Leaving the property, I recalled the host saying the dog is very friendly and can be taken for the walk, so it came.
Immediately out the gate, it ran away to what turned out to be the owner who’d left earlier and later disappeared into a house. Soon after the dog got into a dogfight with another dog.
Back on track, we walked through an amazingly beautiful landscape of greenery and wondrous flowers. Friend said innocently, “This is what I consider heaven”. A good laugh ensued over a subject that’s not politically correct to publish. We crossed several groups of wonderful cattle. Cows, calves, goats and their babies, brutally chained to the ground.
A poor calf is chained so he doesn’t move, so his muscles don’t harden, so the brutal human eating a veal-parmigiana has tender meat. He’s probably not brutal himself, and doesn’t have the cruelty to do -- with that animal -- what the person he implicitly commissions to carry the brutality and murder does.
I was really tempted to set one free but was concerned about getting chased down if a farmer shows up…
The “friendly” dog jumped on another dog, apparently, a female and attempted to rape her.
As soon as we left civilization the dog dived into a disgusting pool of algae – black water with green on top – a haven for bacteria, which the dog loved, and splashed itself upon getting out (which we naturally avoided).
We had to intervene a few times to end dog fights!! None of the dogs out on a walk wore a leash. And some were roaming alone.
We decided to call the dog a name as we didn’t know his name – so our friend called him Dogga, which we addressed him ever since by.
Our aim was the Atlantic Ocean but the signs weren’t clear and we ended up on another heavenly road and followed it. A tractor driver showed us the (wrong) direction for the swimming area.
Long story short, we walked through corn fields and other challenging terrain – got bitten in our ankles by sticky plants, did quite a bit of running, jumping, walking on a stone wall that easily collapsed, etc., and finally made it to the ocean.
This was not much of a challenge compared to fighting the Zakopane mountains – so I being slightly more experienced than our friend, initiated some courageous moves. But we thought and decide on the next moves together – and it felt good to be in such challenges as a team instead of alone.
We found ourselves to the ocean but as I had anticipated we were on a cliff, which was impossible to climb down without rock climbing gear.
Getting out would be easier since we saw a tractor taking out an entire corn field (quite spectacular as it turns all corn plants into powder – leaves and all) – and saw a path which we followed. After chatting with a couple of tractor drivers, we ensued on our path back.
Another dog encounter ensued – this time with 2 dogs that were a fraction of the size of ours.
Later, the dog took off. We hitchhiked and hoped the dog would follow but it had disappeared. I saw it for a moment with another dog – turns out to be a new lover – and the two of them disappeared behind the bakery.
We were not able to find the dog anymore. So walked back, and hitched a ride in the back of a truck which was fun but it went too far, and we came back and got lost and ended up at a white goat farm, and eventually in a doctor’s practice and a nice lady who knew where our place was, offered us a ride.
Nervous about having lost the dog kilometers away, we told the owner, and his reaction was, don’t worry, it’ll come back. Sometimes it’s gone for 24 hours :) and comes back…
A farmer gave me the 3 eggs he had as a gift – they were new and still warm. The chickens were freely roaming and eating the luscious grass.
The bus was very late, and didn’t want to even stop until I insisted that it’s really the bus I want :) Downtown found a 100% organic, vegetarian restaurant with a German chef, and had the best quiche ever (++).
Big groups ahead of me in the security line – I was sandwiched between a painful-aura’d smoker and a cell phone addict glued to high-frequency EMR. So I switched lines (!) and went through instantly.
The flight was late – as is normal for these cultures – and many people are loud, gregarious, emotionally expressive, and happy – even the non-drunks. The drunks were obnoxious but on the flight, another group is playing cards and laughing their hearts out. In Northern countries, which are much richer, there’s a noticeable difference in the level of expressiveness and emotional experience.
A mother is screwing up the psyche and future of her poor little son by being such an unreasonable dictator. I wish I had the right to say something to her. She’s treating her son with such cruelty that’s painful to see. She’s caffeinated (I saw what she drank) and stressed.
Ok, we finally talked. She was receptive. How old is he? “5”. Suggested she just gives up :) since she’s been struggling from the beginning of the flight with “sit” and other orders the boy doesn’t follow. She said the iPad battery is out etc., and he has nothing to do… so he crawls under the seat, etc. Let him do it… Just do your own thing – forget about him… as long as he doesn’t hurt himself. But she has nothing to do either ☺ and going in this direction is daytime so sleeping is out…
She mellowed out. Now the boy got his way – is laying on the floor playing with a doll (I could tell he’s physically tired of sitting on that seat for hours on end – so a change of position helps him). And the mother stopped nagging him and stressing unnecessarily for a while but that’s all she knows how to do.