After giving you a small introductory taste to my writing habits I thought I’d build upon it with something as cultural as an insight into my Leavers Holiday to Zante. After finishing school it probably isn’t much to your surprise that perhaps cultural isn’t the word, despite being a desolate Greek Island- it seems to be ruled by the infamous Naughty Chris where xenia (the ancient Greek concept of hospitality) isn’t really something he channels whilst fulfilling his duties as a bouncer…After studying Greek literature for a year, I can’t help but think times have changed since Homer wrote the ‘Odyssey” in 800BC.
I hope that this brief outline of events provides you with some sort of entertainment that I got from reminiscing and writing about it.
I knew that tackling one of Europe’s most notorious party islands with my deteriorating health was bound to be a mistake, but yet I still attempted to do it anyway. And here I am, 2 weeks later, with tonsillitis and a chest infection, having lived to tell the tale.
Travelling from the airport to the hotel at 6am was a short but sweet journey, nicely complemented by some drunken teens on the street still trying to make their way home. Anyway, the reps were sure to try and make us feel more than welcome, by not leaving our room at 6am after we’d been travelling since 6pm the previous day, how considerate right?! After giving Jess a kick up the backside and letting Joe know that most of us had boyfriends they were on their way and never spoke to us again.
So everyday was pretty much the same, we’d all gotten into the routine of saying that we would definitely get up early and go to the beach the following day to try and make the most of our time away, but yet when the alarms were set for 11am, the furthest some of us could walk was the fridge, and that was to get water to attempt to cure the hangover. Most of us managed to stumble down to the poolside where we could shake off the remains any alcohol in our system and prepare ourselves for the night ahead. In doing so, I’m pretty certain that we managed to annoy every other guest in the hotel, our games and play fighting in the pool came with a number of glares and even a couple of ‘f*ck off”s in the process. This does make it even harder to come to terms with the idea of us as a group of ‘young adults’, being thrown in at the deep end of the adult world. (Literally) Nevertheless, it didn’t get in the way of our fun in the sun and allowed us to all catch up on the drama of the night before.
Although, there were a couple of anomalies of the week in the sun, like the one day we did actually venture to the beach and the other we spent the afternoon sailing around turtle island in the sweltering heat. The beach was well worth the extensive 7 minute walk, and with just our luck, after settling down on our sun-beds we were even ‘greeted’ by a nudist!! We stayed for just as long as we could handle but the heat and gritty sand affixed between our toes became too much for even the best of us. So back to the familiar home turf we went, Mario’s Studios. The other day, Thomas, one of the boys on our trip, who had basically turned into our own personal rep for the week, organising every event and deal that we made had somehow managed to get us 2 boats to be driven by ourselves to actually the escape the alcohol fuelled island.Everyone could probably agree that this was one of the most memorable days with the breath taking views of Turtle island, and watching another boy on the trip, Jonny, who certainly left his mark in the sea… (Whatever that means to you, I’ll leave it down to your imagination)
So after beginning our 1st night with a ride in a horse and carriage down the strip and a handful of drama, which by the end of the week, probably turns into bucket of drama, our nightlife in Zante had certainly started with a bang. But after that, it only went uphill with ‘Cocktails and Dreams’ becoming our second home for the week. This was very similar to the whole doing the same thing every day and promising to go to the beach scenario, as although suggestions came left, right and centre for another destination that night- somehow we always managed to end up next to Naughty Chris in ‘Cocktails and Dreams’. Not being the friendliest of bouncers (rumour has it that he has drawn blood from a number of party goers) no one wanted to get on his bad side. However, most of us girls had it easy, as much as I don’t agree with it, a club that stated “Only female dancers on the bar”, was easy enough for us to get into by flashing a smile and maybe even a cheeky wink. However, it was a little more difficult for the boys- being threatened with ‘sharp objects’ as Naughty Chris put it, and having their personal property flung about like it was dirt on his shoe. This included my hat, that I had just bought 2 days before, on my way to the train station to the airport, being flung from Rory’s head along with some of his hair and never to be seen again, surprisingly, neither of us wanted to follow him up on this.
The last night, after being kicked out of our hotel rooms at 10am, having gotten in from the previous night just after 6am everyone was tired, annoyed and a little bit fragile from ‘Cocktails and Dreams’ (obviously). BUT, this was a night of discovery as Rory and I witnessed that Costos, the owner of the hotel who was eager to draw every penny- or cent- out of you that he could with undeserving fines actually had a heart?! Having spent every euro that we came with, after our week in the 30 degree heat, our mouths were dry and drying out even more as we foraged for a bottle of water. We tried to tackle this by spending a substantial amount of time talking to drunk, and not so drunk people trying to gather as close to 2 euros as possible for a bottle of water. First time round, we were successful and tried to make the bottle last as long as possible but it ran out and we were still as thirsty as before. Trying to gather money this time was different, as Costos had appeared behind the bar and saw us struggling and simply handed us a bottle of water. If only it had been that simple the first time, it probably would have saved us a lot of time, and dignity. Alas, he was not the monster we maybe thought he was.
Khalid’s song “Young Dumb and Broke” that almost turned into our anthem as we blasted it whilst us girls got ready every night and ventured out on the boat, turns even more into an anthem with every word becoming relatable by the end of the trip. With our childish sides ironically coming out, various trips to hospital, running our bank accounts dry and just being generally stupid, Khalid had never been so relatable. But it was these events and qualities that really did make our holiday ‘a once in a lifetime’ sort of trip.
Although there was perhaps a lack of detail in my account of our adventures, I’ve written this with the inkling that my parents could be reading this with the intentions to find out the specifics of my week away from home. (just kidding Mum & Dad…) It may or may not be a week I wish to relive, but despite this, it really did exceed our expectations in one way or another.
Zante, it was a pleasure.