They say good things run in threes. Bad things too. Though Native Americans use four as their magic number and Chinese five.
All of which gave me pause to mention CrimeFest so close behind Michael’s and Caro’s posts, but what choice do I have? I want to know what happened at its bar scene! My fondest memories of Bristol are of Icelandic culinary treasures on the order (and crowd-scattering odor) of kæstur hákarl smuggled into the UK by Agent Yrsa and freely shared amid strong drink with willing Viking wannabes, and the deadpan comments of Toby (of Bill and Toby Gottfried fame). How I miss the inebriated vitality of it all.
Come to think of it, I miss that aspect of the bar life everywhere I go, because I stopped drinking three years ago. Nah, this isn’t an AA sort of confessional piece, because my reason for stopping had nothing to do with anything other than avoiding the curse of Mykonos-life: 24/7 booze. It’s a way of life here, from tsipouro in the morning with a fisherman to shots at a bar in the wee hours with the bar’s owner, it’s all part of island camaraderie. And to refuse is an insult…unless you don’t drink.
But by no means have I stopped going to the island’s bars. They’re what drive this place and its reputation, and are fertile sources of research for my work. More so now that I can scribble down notes in handwriting I’ll actually be able to read later on.
In fact, I’m honored to say many places now stock non-alcoholic beer, undoubtedly in an effort to buoy up their bottom line from the fiscal disaster of my decision.
Bars and clubs are an intrinsic part of life on this island, and though few have licenses that allow them to carry on the businesses they actually run, they survive through a Blanche Dubois “kindness of strangers” relationship with the municipal authorities. And on those rare occasions where a particular establishment so offends the polity that action is demanded, an elaborate, stylized drama and dance (think Grand Kabuki theater) ensues involving a ceremonious yanking of the license by the town hall, followed by a prompt race off to court by the owners to stay enforcement of the yanking until some “future time,” which is inevitably after the tourist season ends, leaving the courts to blame for a more-things-change-the-more-they-remain-the-same result. By the way, did I mention that lawyers in Greece have been on strike for nearly half-a-year?
Maybe sobriety isn’t the answer?
Anyway, I have my favorite places on this island in which to spend my time and others where I find the sorts of characters few believe exist in real life…outside of supervised captivity. However, in light of the context of this post I don’t want to mention any names of places or folks, as their mention might be misconstrued. Suffice it to say that Mykonos has successfully established itself as an island unlike any other. Its draw is worldwide and its nighttime scene ever expanding—both as to time and space. And it’s only May.