awkward in anafi

if you know me well then you know that i like my quiet time. i love jason, my friends and my family lots but i don't need to be around them all the time. they get me. i guess that is why i miss my family and friends so much. i'm a bit sensitive to sensory overload i guess. too much talking, forced small talk, being 'on' drains my energy quickly. i like people, i am not a recluse but from time to time i need my own space to recharge. this has been my challenge as on the road you meet people from time to time...some are instant friends and others...mmm...not so much. couchsurfing has been a great way for me to expand my horizons and push my comfort levels with new people. most of our experiences couchsurfing have been positive with only one or two awkward moments.

sunrise over the island of anafi

we've been in the greek islands for about 10 days. we were on the ferry from santorini to anafi when we met a guy from germany. we hadn't couchsurfed since athens so we'd had a few days to ourselves by then. the guy, i'll refer to as 'w', convinced us to come with him to the beach to look for a room instead of going up the hill to the village. 'it's paradise', he said. so we shook our heads at the bus driver and followed w up the path that would take us to the beach. little did we know at the time...that was IT for buses...that was the last bus of the day.

chora, anafi

we hauled our backpacks to kleisidi beach which was not far from the port but far enough for me to start doubting our decision. we arrived at a place that w said was a tavern with rooms to let, at least it was when he was there 5 years before. cool! we hung around for awhile but no one was home so we dropped our bags on the terrace and decided to look around. w was planning to pitch a tent on the next beach over (the nude-is-ok beach) so we climbed another hill to check it out with him.

kleisidi beach paradise

when we returned to the 'tavern' there was still no one around so we went down to the beach. it WAS paradise...seriously! i was really looking forward to staying in the rooms overlooking the beach. plus, there were about 15 cats and kittens milling about so i knew jay would be entertained for hours and hours.

jay and i left w on the beach to see if we could put our stuff in a room. a woman greeted us warmly but all my dreams were dashed when she told us that she was closed for the season. doh! luckily she was heading to town so she could give us a lift and we could choose from 'many places to stay'...quote, unquote...haha

she dropped us at the bus stop and told us how to get to the street with many rooms. the village was empty. I mean devoid of all human beings. a few chickens, roosters and dogs could be heard but no people. it was 4 pm and there was a funeral. aaaah...that explains alot in the greek islands. everything always closes between 2 & 6:30 and everyone attends a funeral in a small village like chora.

we plunked our bags down in front of a villa that advertised rooms and motos for rent and 2 hours later we got a room. we found the only restaurant open in the whole town and chowed down on veggie gyros. as we were on the way back to our rooms we noticed at least 3 more restaurants, a bakery and a market open. after a week in anafi i think we have the timetable down. shops are open 9-2ish unless it's wednesday morning church, restaurants are open after 6:30 pm and whenever they want to be during the day and the market...that may just depend if the shop owner has left the keys in the door or not.

breakfast with w above kleisidi beach

but back to our new friend w...the next day we walked down the hill to the beach and w met us for lunch. he walked us up the hill and we had dinner together. day three... repeat day two and rinse. day four the rains came and w moved up the hill to the village...into our complex...right next door. breakfast, many card games, dinner...and...corina bows out of drinks in the village.

jay reading on the terrace of our villa - his favourite past-time in anafi

the next day it was still raining and there was no way i wanted a repeat of day four. i was feeling w overload. he was a nice guy but not one that got my need for space. jay made it known that we would just be reading in our room most of the day. when it cleared we went for a walk on our own and we didn't invite w for dinner either. he must have taken it personally because the next day he was less thrilled to see us, didn't want to hang out and even though it was his last night in town didn't suggest a drink. in fact, he didn't even say goodbye. the next morning i heard his door close softly as he left to catch the 7 am ferry. i felt guilt and relief in the same moment.

distracted by a snail during our walk along an anafi road

i'm not sure why this incident has bothered me so much. why do i feel badly for wanting some alone time with jay on the romantic isle of anafi? should i have forced myself to spend time with w even though by day four it was obvious to me we would never be lifelong friends? i enjoyed our time in anafi but possibly 7 days was too much of a good thing. like everything in life, perhaps even paradise is best in moderation.

view of rainbow over kalamos mountain from katsouni beach



gayle said...

Hi Wow the photos are terrific You guys are so so lucky.

Karla said...

Corina - can I share a quote that I've come to live by which relates to your experience with W? It's from Dr. Brene' Brown and it goes like this... "It's better to be uncomfortable than it is to be resentful." A little self-preservation goes a long way. You know your limits and what it takes for you to thrive. Practice those boundaries when you can - especially on trips like this when boundaries are few and far between. Repeat after me... "It's better to be uncomfortable than it is to be resentful.". There, you said it. Doesn't it feel better already?

Alison said...

I'm glad you liked Anafi despite the Weirdness! Never feel bad about protecting your space with a big stick, it's all you have to keep you sane on the road.

Klissidi beach sounds like heaven right now, time flowing on a totally altered pace like your watch had a millisecond hand.