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Wednesday, July 18, 2007


In the three feet wide lanes of Mykonos, the haunt of the party-going young crowd and the gay-lesbian cohort, I am startled to find, proudly displayed in a shop, Indian bags with pictures and text that basically belong to the ads of Indian low-level tobacco products (I don’t apologise for this bit of snobbery).

I went to the owner, a Greek, and greeted him with the civil, touristy equivalent of the famed, universal exclamation ‘WTF’. “Hello, nice store you have here. Where did you get these beautiful bags from?” Now, I normally look like a less Frantic Harrison Ford in glasses, with a slight tan, so he must have thought I was an Italiano or something. “Thanks youz, Sir, they are from Indiyaa!” Probed further, he said, “I don’t know what these pictures and words are about, but the bags cost 25 euros each.” I reeled at the impact of it. A coarse, faltu Indian bag that my maid wouldn’t carry if I gifted her one, is being sold for 25 euros? India Shining! Now, I felt a sudden give-way, a relief, and let loose what was jerking up and down my stomach all the while: “WTF!”

In Mykonos, all you see around you in terms of human environment are young couples (as I have remarked before) all shaped like 2B Apsara pencils, snogging (kissing) and feeling each other as if they were on a plane that was going to crash into the Ionean Sea in exactly two minutes and eleventifive secs, so do what you want till then. I mean, I have seen a fair bit of this myself, and even fancied doing this some Christmas in London or somewhere similar, but never really found a consenting partner of the opposite sex. Never mind. In spite of what I said above, I was shocked. “WTF”, I thought. People were digitally exploring each other in boats and buses, as if they all worked for Google or something.

Of course, I had heard of the famous nudist beaches of Greece, and would have tolerated a piece of it, in the sense that I would not have minded just looking, push comes to shove and all that. Well, it so happened that my hotel was right on one such beach, and guess what? No luck! The young nude girls were totally invisible as they were wrapped around their mates. And the only chests on display belonged to girls of my late grandmother’s generation. I assumed that they didn’t have bikini tops that could stretch down to the knees, so they must have thought “WTF, hang it!”

Met an Indian guy while searching a way out of a small village called Ano Mera. This guy was so friendly that he outlined his life story in five minutes, while standing outside a bus stop. He then insisted on a lift to town, whence I chanced upon his car, one more messy than mine. You can surely see the broomstick, but probably are missing out on the last six months’ groceries, stationary and sundry mess that was knee deep on the floor of the car. I kid you not.

Oh, and in case you thought he was a bum, he was just the owner of a yatch, three helicopters and four jets. He does tourism for the world. He is India, export-quality!
Oh, and for me, WTF means 'Where's The Food?'


Jackie Nelson said...

Mah-velous description, Ram. Thanks for Fet-ing us with your adventures. Greece seems to be THE place at the moment. I am hearing of other friends' visits as well. But it's all Greek to me. As a tourista, they are ripping you off! Go visit Viet Nam.... until the govt issued larger currency not long ago, we used to literally carry shopping bags full of money! Last exchange rate I noted was approx 16,138 VN Dong per one USD. (also, 22,483 Euros or 2,090 HKD per USD at the moment) Still quite a bargain, even for the non-backpacker set. Enjoy, rest up, and post to the medical humour list more often. We miss your way with words.

Jackie Nelson said...

test...I love baklava

Mahendra said...

Thanks for sharing - again, in your inimitable style!