Refuges, Speeding Tickets, Polygamists, Oh My

Samos is a small Greek island with few things to do. Some well-known tourist areas consist of Kokkari and Samos Town (the largest town on the island.) In the paragraphs below, you’ll learn about my adventures from a day out on the town.

story vs realityOn a casual summer evening, Justin, Athan and I arrived back in Karlovasi, after a day of driving around the island and seeing what it had to offer. We met up with the family and shared with them the tales of our day. It consisted of three main events:

  1. We picked up a Syrian refuge who didn’t speak English…check.
  2. We dodged a speeding ticket by using a “language barrier” as an excuse…check.
  3. We drank ouzo (read: ew-zo) with a mountain man and his 5 wives…check.

The Story: the refugee

syrian refugees in greece
Disclaimer: Flickr image. I didn’t actually take this photo. It’d be cool if I did though.

About 8 hours prior to sharing our stories with the family, the boys and I left for Samos Town.  We hopped into the orange Chevy Aveo rental car and began cruising towards town. On our way there, we noticed many refugees headed in the same direction. We decided to do a good deed for the day and pick one up. He was dirty, smelly and a little wet. He had nothing more than a small pack on his back. He didn’t speak any English, but we were able to communicate a little through hand gestures. Since the refugees were all headed towards Samos Town, that’s where we took him. When  we dropped him off, he was extremely grateful and gave Athan a big, smelly, wet hug. Yum.

The Story: speeding ticket evasion

speed limit sign
Signs in Samos are in kph

After spending a while cruising around Samos Town, we whizzed down the windy roads towards who-knows-where. The roads in Samos are small, windy and have little-to-no markings. There were also very few speed limit signs. And no cops (that we knew of.) After a while of driving too-quickly, we saw the first (and only) cop of the entire trip. He pulled us over, of course. We started freaking out, but remembered being told to “play dumb and act like we don’t understand them”…which wasn’t very hard, because we actually didn’t understand him. We think he was trying to tell us we were speeding and he was going to give us a ticket. We got very loud and played Dumb American and acted like we didn’t know what was going on. Finally, he gave up and waved us on. Whew. That was a close one.

The Story: ouzo with polygamists

samos trail
Trails in Samos

After almost getting a speeding ticket, we decided to venture more inland, where the land was less inhabited. We parked the car and found a walking trail in the mountains (mountains? It’s a island..they weren’t real mountains). We followed the trail until we passed a house in the middle of nowhere. There was a man and five women laughing loudly and drinking ouzo on the back patio. One of them spotted us and waved us over. They spoke very little English, but it was enough to learn that they were all “married” and lived happily in the middle of nowhere. The gifted us some ouzo (it would be rude to decline) and tried communicating with us for a bit. Eventually, they invited us into their house and we figured it would be best to just leave. They didn’t seem too thrilled about that.

The Reality

So many interesting stories we shared with the family…but they were just that: stories. Let’s take it back to the beginning.

About 8 hours prior to sharing our stories with the family, the boys and I left for Samos Town.  We hopped into the orange Chevy Aveo rental car and began cruising towards town. On our way there, we noticed many refugees headed in the same direction. When we got to Samos Town, we noticed even more refugees. This must be where they were headed. Although I’m not sure how they knew where to go..

In Samos Town, we window shopped by the little street vendors and decided on a restaurant to have some lunch: Club sandwiches. Always club sandwiches. The restaurant had a nice patio and seemed relatively American-like. However, the waitress must not have been too fond of us because she was extremely rude. Unlike America, they don’t work for tips.

After an uneventful time in Samos Town, we decided to go to Kokkari (a very touristy little beach-side town) to eat and drink at our favorite beach bar, Wave Cafe Bar. We sat there and taste-tested delicious mixed drinks for the rest of the day. On the way home, we knew the family would ask about our day, so we fabricated elaborate stories to make our day sound exciting. Oops 🙂

mixed drinks at waves cafe bar
This photo captures our entire day…and it was perfect.

Have you ever fooled someone with an elaborate story before? Share in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s