Monday, 8 July 2013

Adventures in Cephalonia 3

Hello. My name is Kostas Economides and I am a lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of the South of England (USE for short). Well, actually that is not true really as the names of individuals and institutions in this blog have been changed to protect the innocent - and the guilty!

The story so far. Gus and Heather have been on holiday to the Greek island of Cephalonia. After spending a few days relaxing in and around the resort of Lassi they had rented a car to visit other places on the island. Having taken delivery of the car on the Wednesday afternoon they had decided to investigate tavernas further to the east of Lassi that evening. After travelling for about half an hour they took a left turn up into the mountains. Here they came across what seemed to be a taverna in an old style building. It turned out that the couple who owned the building were a Greek man called George and his English girlfriend Rebecca. They were still working on restoring the building to its former glory but Rebecca invited them in and they were soon sharing food, drink and conversation with her and George. The evening started well and Rebecca told Gus and Heather how she came to be on Cephalonia, how she and George had met and their plans for the taverna.

As the wine flowed it became obvious that Gus couldn't drive back to Lassi that night and Rebecca had persuaded them to stay the night - and the drinks turned from wine to spirits.

Rebecca talked a lot and at some point became rather argumentative. She and George had words and George stormed out and disappeared up the mountain road on his motorbike. Rebecca broke down in tears.

Heather tried to calm Rebecca and Gus volunteered to make everyone a coffee. It became clear to Gus and Heather that there were problems between George and Rebecca, probably due to the slow progress being made on the taverna.

Gradually Rebecca calmed down and told Gus and Heather of her fear that the taverna project would never succeed. George was a perfectionist and his work on the taverna, although wonderful, was taking too long. If they didn't open the taverna soon and start to get in some income they would run out of money. On top of that Rebecca was worried that the taverna, although a beautiful building, was too far off the beaten track to attract sufficient customers to make it pay. Gus attempted to reassure Rebecca saying that as it was such an unusual place, so long as there was good publicity about it amongst tourists, and the food was good (and having tasted Rebecca's cooking he was sure it would be) then people would make the effort to seek out the taverna.

By now it was the early hours of Thursday morning and Rebecca said that she knew what they could do do to cheer themselves up. They should go to a lovely beach that she liked and watch the sun rise and paddle in the sea. Then they should go to a little cafe that she had discovered in Argostoli where the fisherman went for their breakfast after returning from their nightly fishing trips. There they could have an authentic Cephalonian breakfast.

And so it was that they went to Rebecca's favourite beach and watched the sun come up as they paddled in the water. Gus had never seen a Greek sunrise before, although he had watched plenty of sunsets. As Rebecca had promised it made them all feel good. In his head Gus had heard George Harrison singing "Here Comes the Sun" - a record that always gave him a positive feeling.

Then they drove into Argostoli to find the fisherman's cafe for breakfast.

To be continued.

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